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Archive for the ‘Department of Psychology’ Category

NHS Query

In Department of Psychology, Letters on February 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Dear Camille Administrativu [CMHT Duty Officer],

I have recently been given your name in connection with some enquiries I am making regarding the policy of Dudley PCT/Dudley NHS on referrals and treatment for adults with attention deficit disorder. The reason for these enquiries is that the treatment I have recieved at the hands of Dudley CMHT makes no sense to me and, I believe, makes no objective sense when the current understanding of adult ADHD is taken into account.

Let me first outline the treatment I speak of over the last 4 years. I will stick to the facts of referrals made and prescriptions given in order to minimise any expressions of anger and frustration that I find it hard to suppress when thinking of or discussing the human aspects of the last few years of my dealings with Dudley NHS mental health.

A referral was made to a local psychiatrist with a (perhaps vague) specialism in ADHD sometime, I believe, in 2006. I never heard from this again.

A diagnosis of ADHD was made. (I was not informed of this until 3-4 years later.) I presume this to have been made in 2006, but since I discovered this fact in late 2010 I cannot confirm this.

Stratera/Atomoxetine was prescribed sometime in 2006-2007. I took it for a few months. It was a particularly difficult and chaotic time of my (difficult and chaotic) life and for that reason the ability to gauge the efficacy of the medication was not optimal. Nevertheless, it is clear that the medication did not significantly reduce the restlessness, impulsivity, incidence of angry, constant and intrusive daydreams and “brainstorms”, disorganisation, inability to relax etc etc., that is the manifestation of my ADHD. This ought not to be wholly unexpected given as Stratera/Atomoxetine is generally agreed to be less effective in reducing the symptoms of ADHD than stimulant medications, and completely ineffective in a significant minority of individuals.

In addition to its ineffectiveness, Stattera led to a number of alarming (to me) side effects. Deep sleep came suddenly and unbidden at inconvenient times of the day. Since another part of my problem is asperger’s syndrome and a need for routine, this was highly disturbing to me.

In short, Atomoxetine was not suitable for me.

Following this wholly unsuccessful assay with Atomoxetine, it was as if we had exhausted all possibilities. My psychiatrist at Hill House repeatedly talked to me about the difficulties of diagnosis in adulthood and the difficulty of doing anything for me. He wrote to my doctor regarding the heartening absence of problems I did not at any point consult him for and referrals were, eventually made, that I then heard nothing about. Read the rest of this entry »

Vacuum Head

In Autism Research Unit, Department of Psychology on February 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm

This is a different kind of horrible. My head’s not exploding. I’m not feeling like I’m barely living unless I’m doing five things at once. I’m not angry. I’m not depressed. I don’t feel like there’s no hope in anything. I don’t particularly feel like I’m the worst kind of human being. I don’t feel lonely. I don’t even feel sad. This is vacuum head. I can’t explain it. It’s like Blaenau Ffestiniog to Snowdonia. It’s been there for years unexplored. Perhaps its the least worst of the mind states I experience. I’ve noticed it more recently, but I feel like I’ve never really thought about it or attempted to get to grips with it, and I feel like I need to address that. Now vacuum head doesn’t much lend itself to writing, and one thing I am certain of is that if I force to write in this condition I won’t sleep afterwards, but I know that nothing will remain of it afterwards. I have come through it and to the other side enough times to know that.

Context

As often with vacuum head, as I tweeted a few days back (yesterday?), I got it on returning from work. This lends me to suspect that vacuum head is a kind of mental over-exertion, and, in particular, a function of aspergic artificial emotional intelligence (AAEI) (which is as felicitous a spontaneous coinage as I’m likely to stumble upon mid Vacuum Head), that is, more intelligibly, the result in part of the mental exertions required by those who lack an intuitive grasp of social interaction. Power down your Normalcy Emulation Engine (sorry, on a roll with this shit), and the power drain leaves your mind this way like your muscles feel after a bout of anaerobic exercise.

Two things then. One. I was working with a Reciprocal Reactionary (RR) today (this one is an intentionally, that is, ironically awful coinage based upon R S Thomas’s notion of “reciprocal reactions” from people who pick up on his own social awkwardness). She is rather closed. My boss said he doesn’t think she is somebody you can ever get to know. (And god was I glad when I started hearing people saying negative things about her, because these RRs are the cause of a lot of tortured thoughts and negative automatic thoughts.) The two of us together are pretty stilted, and there we were working together for seven and a half hours with nothing to do for the most of it. The constant throwing of conversational dice in my mind is plenty enough to drain anyone’s mind, but there was, as ever, more than this, and I will try to summon some of it now.

Manafan – jingle, on dead air, from The Man Who Went Into The West by Byron Rogers, which I’m currently reading

Plans. To write back of the envelope flow diagrams of mind states and the way they move from one to the next, eg. social anxiety developing from a RR.

Various imagined scenarios in Capel Curig with moving there to live with two guys I don’t know and do a job I know scant information about etc. Writing in car, coming clean about ADHD, coming out as a writer, ADHD etc. etc. and then my food etc. Scenarios too surrounding the Welsh/English divide. Read the rest of this entry »

Modules for 2010

In Autism Research Unit, Creative Writing Department, Department of Czech and Slavic Studies, Department of Literature, Department of Nutrition, Department of Politics, Department of Psychology on January 26, 2010 at 10:38 am

Department of Creative Writing – short pieces

Show somebody something: 20

Finish A Guest for January – draft: 10

Write up/dictate Scars and Tattoos – work on in timetabled sessions to end March 2010: 20

Finish stragglers

viz The Most Random Shag Yet, Equation, [Eurovision story], The Enthusiast, [Alton Towers story], [Farming story], alternating with new stories: 20 credits per stalled first draft completion, 10 per new story

Practical:

Find and make notes on settings, social contexts etc. etc. eg. a Bookies; Interview a person/group of people about their job/hobby etc.

Department of Literature – poetry notebook

One entry per week: 20. One entry per fortnight: 10. One entry per month: 0 credits.

Department of Literature – exercises

Exercises in Style after the above authors based on 1 – 3 : 15 credits per piece.

Flash Fiction: 5 a piece

Department of Creative Writing – Ongoing research

Liquid Loves, Call Them Soldiers:

Zygmunt Bauman – Liquid Love: 25

John Gray – Black Mass: 20

John Gray – Straw Dogs: 30 (with notes)

Department of Creative Writing – Ways of Escape

Develop and nurture a routine that may become second nature. Describe it. Practice it. Live it. : 65

The Man Who Went into the West: the life of R S Thomas – Byron Rogers: 20

Rimbaud – Graham Robb: 40

George Orwell – D J Taylor: 35

Anton Chekhov – Henri Troyat: 25

Read the rest of this entry »

Get your oats, or your goat’s yoghurt, or your g/f bread…

In Department of Nutrition, Department of Psychology, Food diary on January 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm

One of the ways that my maxims and priorities shift is with food. Managing to eat no sugar, no yeast, no gluten or dairy products, no fruit, no starchy vegetables, no fermented products, etc. etc. even, on some accounts, no grains, is, as you can well imagine, phenomenally difficult. What makes it worse is that there are, as I have indicated, so many different conceptions of the diet.

One type of diet which certainly benefits me is the candida diet. There are many forms of this. Some recommend that no fruit whatever be consumed with the diet since even fruit sugars help the candida parasite to thrive. Others recommend fresh juices and smoothies. Some say there may be no gluten. Others recommend whole wheat flour. Some say that honey can be consistent with the diet, it being a shorter chain sugar.

Then there is the gluten free, casein free diet for those with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. This also benefits me. But of course, because the gluten and casein are avoided due to the fact that they break down into neurotoxins/opiates it is, in most conceptions of this diet, unnecessary to avoid sugars etc. One consequence of this is that whenever my mind has shifted towards this diet and I have allowed myself these sugary mass-produced gluten and dairy-free products that exclusively fill the free-from shelves, I have become very angry very quickly, my head full of intrusive daydreams and abstract anger.

Then there is the tricky problem of alcohol. There is a slight difference in the severity of the effects of beer and wine, which really knock me about for a couple of weeks, and spirits, which don’t affect me quite so badly, or in quite the same way. This small difference often becomes exaggerated in my mind, and also falls prey to the shift of priorities in my mind that keeping in touch with friends who may struggle with me when I’m not drinking, my social skills needing a little helping hand, is more important than excluding all substances which may aggravate a problem with candida, a maxim which most often alternates with the ‘weighty’ conception of life (on Milan Kundera’s polarity, discussed above) and of Candida in which it is necessary to be almost inhumanly disciplined for a period of a few months to wipe out the problem for good.

Most recently, a reading of a piece by Erica White on the Institute for Optimum Nutrition website sent her conception of the Candida diet racing up in the maxim stakes, replacing, to a degree, the one that has been foregrounded for a couple of months, that of the Gut & Psychology diet of Natasha Campbell-McBride. This led to my buying oatcakes on going out to buy water, and then, going further, to pop into Sainsbury’s, buying both gluten free porridge and rolled oats with soya milk.

On this conception, it would be better to eat a little gluten but be consistent with the diet by introducing a few ingredients that may be a little less bland than the usual fare, than to struggle so hard to exclude everything, but break every now and again and feed the candida by doing so, as I did, almost inevitably, over Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »

Pendulums

In Department of Politics, Department of Psychology, Uncategorized on January 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm

[One of those posts that starts as one thing and becomes another, and then jumbled a little more by the fact it was dictated via Dragon Natural Voice and corrected only after a few days, by which time I had doubtlessly forgotten in many instances what I had originally said. Nevertheless, it is a post which certainly gets to the heart of some of the problems I face, and, indeed, for that matter, states perhaps more clearly than I have yet stated elsewhere, what this website is about, so here it is.]

chaotic pendulum

I got up at something like a 12:15 today after the most formless day yesterday when I had been on the computer most of the day, with the computer plugged into the Internet (never a good idea). I had been ill yesterday in the morning, lacking in energy still and had managed little but to read some of the story, Sham, that had stalled, by the looks of it on Boxing Day. I last worked on it on Christmas Day knowing what happens when I have a break of anything more than a day on a story. But then my brother was up visiting and I never manage to write when he’s here, and then I was ill (the jury is out on whether I caught something or got a bad bout of die off symptoms after letting my diet slide on Christmas Day with bread and cakes and milk and alcohol).

The procrastinatory resistance I get every time one project stalls is nightmarish. I feel ill, depressed, as I did for a long while after Christmas, I’ll do anything to avoid going back to it and try to fill my mind with it once again when so many other things have taken its place in the intervening moments. My days fill with the myriad non-overlapping projects, manias, maxims from days gone by, any of which is for this time preferable even if taken to extreme.

Last night I wrote to a woman at Charles University asking about the possibilities of studying there. I looked into volunteering at organic farms in the Czech Republic. I looked at gluten and dairy free cafes to see if I can apply for jobs there. Caught up in a few new manias.

It’s horrible now and not knowing how ‘authentic’ all this is when I know my tendency is to centrifugal enthusiasms when the most proximate project stalls on me.

And then you look back and see this constant repetition of shifting maxims which are intended to rule your life. Czech hurtles up. Revision of Liquid Loves with it. Call Them Soldiers is up there hovering around the third spot five, six months on from when it last made an appearance. With these so many other things. Belcher gastronomique, candida, French, guitar, all vying for position. Running is doing well. The whole online dating nonsense being the only thing that is more or less given up its place so that all of the others are hunched up hurtling around the track.

Other things are introduced through more straightforwardly external factors. I get an e-mail from Paul at the Dark Mountain Project and want to send something, perhaps some poetry, an essay. Read the rest of this entry »

Cigars and Shooting Stars

In CBT, Creative Writing Department, Department of Psychology, Food diary, Progress Review, Unforgiving Minutes, Work Diary, Writing Diary on December 15, 2009 at 12:59 am

Hard to believe that Thursday gone I told my CBT therapist that I had been feeling so good that if I were to continue feeling as good as I had been that week I would struggle to differentiate my own experience from that of anyone else. I had perhaps felt that way for a couple of days. It was something I had said to B_____ as we went walking up in the hills with our headtorches one foggy night last week. I had eaten pretty well for a while, taken a lot of probiotics, and felt, after reading Gut and Psychology Syndrome, that I was taking care of things.

I don’t know how it was I came to feel that way, only that it was as bizarre a reflection of my own microclimate that feeling that way for a couple of days, with less going on cluttering up my head than usual, led me to think that I was cured.

Friday was a tough night. I Met up with everybody from my old place of work after a break of six months or so. And I didn’t drink. Didn’t drink because I’m trying hard to keep off it, trying to stick to a meaningful anti-candida diet so I can calm down my head for good and get to the top of that hill I’ve been aiming for for months. Didn’t drink because every time I have drank, anything, over the last few months, I have seen so clearly how it only makes me angry and distracted, and irritable and lacking in concentration for the next few days. That was difficult in itself. I chatted for a while, and people were welcoming. But the group grew and grew drunk, and I struggled. By the time we moved upstairs I didn’t want to deal anymore with the complications of women coming on to me I wasn’t interested in, with the people I ended up sat next to who I had literally nothing to say to, with feeling like the dullest man in the world. I left feeling foolish and lost. People around me were having the time of their lives, struggling with the emotions they felt to people they were now not supposed to be feeling emotions for. I was making people feel uncomfortable.

I smoked that day, as I smoked the week before, in a similar position in the first leaving do for a friend of mine, one of two or three friends I have had for years and see on a reasonably regular basis. From that Friday, when I came back at what may have been little later than 12 midnight and stayed up until three with the clenched head I get after being around people and processing it all for hours at a stretch to tread water, I have fallen into a kind of ennui that sits best with the nocturnal hours. All day I find myself rudderless and anxious, and then, at ten, eleven, twelve, I make it up to the summerhouse to the typewriter with a hot water bottle.

I have rediscovered poetry, and written something maybe most days since that Friday, when I had to get something out, however rough it may have been. But the stories have been slow moving. I did finish Quiz Night last Monday, and had the idea for Sham almost immediately afterwards, but it’s moving slowly with this routine I’ve found for myself and almost wilfully exaggerated by being too self conscious about it all.

And as for my head being quiet! The last few days I have been a blacksmith – the result of opportunities that have been discussed and which provide me with a dilemma. I have made damascus steel knives, bracelets, forks and I don’t know what else. I have shown my work to various people and expressed all of the facets of a truly bellicose manner that befits my mood and the role of a blacksmith.

It struck me on Saturday that smoking does for me in much the same way as drinking and bad food. I know this. And yet I forget this, and so here we go round again.

But I’m tired. I came in an hour ago tired to the point of near collapse and have been wasting my time with this barely-coherent piece since.

Once again, I have got to get back to basics. It’s not easy.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride

In Autism Research Unit, Book Review, Department of Nutrition, Department of Psychology on December 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm

I had not used the local library for about two years on account of having ran up a debt on a number of books on rape and the criminal justice system, research for a book that swelled to the size of an Anna Karenina or a Bleak House and helped to take me to the edge and which, needless to say, hasn’t be written. I had also falen out of the habit of considering libraries as one of the ways of getting my hands on a book. If I needed a book I would think E-Bay or Amazon, or, more recently, the Book Depository, and that would set me to thinking about compulsive buying and set in motion all of the strategies I have in place to stop me impulse buying Marshall stack amplifiers with power breaks for playing in my bedroom, Le Creusset casseroles, expensive language packs for Croatian, expsensive vintage typewriters and all the rest of it, but which also stops me, time after time, buying the needful things, the things which might make such strategies a little less necessary. Gut and Psychology Syndrome was one such book, indefinitely postponed by my own complex analytical filters. I had come across Natasha Campbell-McBride well over a year ago – perhaps as much as two, three years back – and it was evident to me that she came from a solid scientific background and that she had a valuable contribution to make in the field of nutritional therapy for neurodevelopmental disorders. Nonetheless, it took me a long time to get to reading her book. Anybody who suffers from the conditions she describes may understand the various shifts of priorities and the miscellaneous mishaps and the various exigencies of a life lived in a far from orderly way all of which militate against the chance of finding a window to focus on the very things which may lend order, but I can only stress that there will always be some things which are well worthy of being shoved to the front of the queue, whatever else seems imperitive, and this is one of them.

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride is a qualified medical doctor who has worked as a neurosurgeon and also trained in nutrition. The fact that she has a child who was originally diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome also led her to look into the causes of this condition, and to question the orthodoxy that asperger’s is incurable (her son is now a fully-functional adolescent). As a consequence, Dr Campbell-McBride came into contact with the late Bernard Rimland, director of the Autism Research Institute. From him she learned that many individuals with autism recover following the implementation of a gluten and casein free diet.

Campbell-McBride, however, went deeper than this. She discovered that gluten and casein were merely two of many proteins which metabolise into potent neurotoxins in an improperly functioning gut. She discovered that all of the patients she saw who had autism, but also ADHD, dyslexia, schizophrenia, dyspraxia, and other such conditions, have abnormalities of gut flora, the bacteria and microorganisms in the gut.

Campbell-McBride developed a protocol to heal this kind of problem. For her it is the malfunction of the gut that causes the malfunction in the brain. It does not add to it. It does not exacerbate it. It causes it.

In the book, Campbell-McBride lays out her protocol, which she says she successfully used to treat her son. In so doing she takes a look at other popular forms of nutritional intervention. In this section one or two minor factual errors may creep in. She summarises the anti-Candida diet, for example, as one which permits a great deal of pastries and starch. This may be true of certain books which are written in a broadly anti-candida vein, and indeed I know people who claim to be on an anti-Candida diet who bake with non-gluten flours and with sugars all the time, and who eat a great deal of starch, and who, incidentally, are not getting well or any the less irritable by doing so. Many people who have little background in nutrition have taken up the Candida bandwaggon. Alas, what has occurred with Candida is what has occurred elsewhere where the medical establishment fails to acknowledge a problem, that is, the market has produced a glut of nonsense in what is, ironically, a parallel of the pathogenic bacteria that take up residence and start proactively squatting when the goodies move out: these people thrive in the same environment and feed on the same fuel as could sustain knowledgeable men and women with a scientific background, if only they would take up the challenge, but as they hubristically scoff and walk away the quacks move in along with the more principled alternative practitioners and genuine nutritionists. Whatever, Erica White’s more considered approach to Candida is not what is demolished here. But no matter, the fact is that most alternatives to the tough but effective protocol laid out by Dr Campbell-McBride, essentially the too-often overlooked specific carbohydrate diet coupled with the supplementation of therapeutic doses of probiotics, are ineffectual or incomplete.

This I found out a year or two too late, as is often the case, since after years of struggling to apply the more rigorous anti-Candida diet of Erica White and yahoo groups’ ‘Bee’, I cut out all grains for a while and used home-made ghee, clarified butter, instead of the normal stuff, and boosted my level of probiotics, and the changes were rapidly apparent.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and this one eats very well thank you very much. Try it.

Gav B

DoP Depression box scheme

In Department of Nutrition, Department of Psychology on October 10, 2009 at 11:29 am

Professor Gavin Belcher of the UoG Department of Psychology has announced a new research project he is to undertake over the coming years into the efficacy of what he calls ‘Depression Boxes’.

“Over the  years I have been impressed by the variety of techniques used by the many individuals I meet in my professional life who periodically experience depression to lift their mood. One colleague in particular once confinded that he had a cupboard in his office, and another in his house, even a couple of items in his car (he spent a lot of time travelling for work) that he knew picked him up. He had comedy and uplifting films and books, recipes his mother used to make, maps to places he loved, and, most interestingly, a number of tapes. This he used in particular in his car. And he told me he had one tape that took him from anger to a heightened restlessness to a contented, even peaceful satisfaction. Another took him from anxiety to that same euthymic state through laughter. And so on. Now and again he had to replenish his collection through overuse. And he had to carry a card in his wallet he referred to to remind him to use the whole lot. He had to be vigilent to the temptation when he was on a downward spiral to listen to depression music, rewatch moody films, and reinforce his mood. I have always been interested to know how many people have a similar method, to what degree this may be a placebo, and how such a technique might be useful for others who have never tried to harness the power of such a ‘cultural virtuous circle’.”

The Depression Box Scheme research project, named with a nod to the University of Gav DoP and DoN’s ongoing campaign to highlight the role of nutritional in depression and other mental illnesses, aims to gather the experiences of individuals with depression from all works of life.

“Too often” says Prof Belcher, “it is thought that cures and/or treatments for depression ought to be imposed. That is, that it is a one way flow of information and experience, from medical practitioner to patient. I would like play a part in redressing what I consider to be an imbalance, and ask those with depression to help us as researchers to understand the ways they may have learned to cope. There may, indeed, I’m certain that there must, be cases where a depression box and other behavioural strategies, especially in combination with nutritional therapy, will be enough to keep depression at bay. For others, such strategies may be a helping hand with medication and talking therapies.”

Anybody with any experiences of the use of film, music, literature, comedy, and indeed, and combination of culture and the establishment of habits and routines, favourite places etc. that has been repeatedly proven to pick them up from depression, is encouraged to write and share their experiences to prof.gavin.belcher@googlemail.com indicating whether they would be happy for their own strategies to be anonymously shared.

A doctor who listens!

In A Walter Mitty Character, Autism Research Unit, Department of Psychology, Unforgiving Minutes on September 28, 2009 at 6:56 pm

There’s a parcel waiting at the door to be posted to some woman who’s bought A Kestrel for a Knave through my Amazon seller account that peaked a week or two back in some bizarre saving-the-world-through-bookmarks-about-colony-collapse-disorder fantasy. I get up late after a late night last night trying to work til I drop by doing a translation of The theatre of Jara Cimrman because until ten I had been writing for this blog rather than Call Them Soldiers (I will have to watch out that I don’t slip into doing that more often) and then I was too awake to sleep. I had a valerian tea, which often doesn’t put me to sleep at all – not the brand I have been able to track down of late anyway – and I think that often makes me irritable and jittery the next morning. I got up late, at around twenty past eight, with the post office opening at half past and the doctor’s switchboard too – you have to make appointments on the day and it is a nightmare of ringing and redialling over and over.

I have a shower. Finally. I was beginning to stink again. I realised my lack of personal hygiene is becoming a problem at times when I got a call from a mate to meet up at the driving range with him and a friend. (He phrased it, as he always does, that I don’t have to turn up if I don’t want to, understanding perfectly that I don’t do well with other people.) My mum told me not to wear those jeans as I headed out, with the tear in them. But it was when I got there I realised that I stank. And telling the guy I don’t work at the moment, this guy who looks so straight-laced. The kind of guy who comes over as older than his years, though handsome. As the hot water hit me I tried to remember the last time I showered. We’re not talking weeks by any stretch, but it had been a while. I do tend to be irritated by the ‘waste’ of time unless I have been out on my bike or done some exercise that I can wind down with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Reasons to be Cheerful

In Autism Research Unit, Commentary, Department of Psychology, Unforgiving Minutes on September 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm

I read, and the paper moves down the page. The words go into my head, somewhere, like when people are talking to me and I hear them but.. don’t process it.

A couple of hours on and my mood has picked up enormously. I paced. Figuratively and perhaps as good as literally, in that longer-time-frame way I have of walking up the stairs, failing to take to a room and walking down again, over and over. I decided to get out on the bike. The super duper bike this time. And so I pick it up and try and pump up the tyres. No go. One wheel, meant for trials riding and so much thicker and heavier than I need, extends over the valve so that I can’t put my stupid Decathlon pump over it. That gets thrown around. A few grunts (these ugly, loud, gutteral grunts I make, and am making with increasing frequency, which are something like Clint Eastwood’s ludicrous snarl cum grunt in Gran Tourino raised to the power of stupid), a few Fuck off!s and For fuck’s sake!s, and yet, when it comes down to it, and despite my day-long downer and restless agitation, I do well to not get angry and to use three different pumps, none of them much use for the purpose, to pump up the bike and get out.

<< Rewind. Up to seven, eight years ago, and soon after the conclusion of the whole frame and forks bought, bike assembled, badly, piecemeal, bike fixed up at great expense, forks recalled and part replaced drama that was a lot more traumatic than it sounds, and I’m desperate to get out of the house to quell some of the restlessness I didn’t then understand at all. I don’t find a pump or there is some problem. But I have to get out. I can’t not. I’m desperate. I pace, literally for sure. I curse, grunt, no doubt, have a tantrum, get into a state of near-hysteria, and then have to go for a run instead. I remember few of the details. I can picture the bike, leaning up against the two step retaining wall (is that a retaining wall? Is it a wall. Whatever it is it is the height of two decorative steps.) of the lawn. I can remember people making mollifying remarks that would not have mollified me at all. I remember, I think, the shoes I would have been wearing, Hi Tecs I had for much of university. And I remember the state I was in. Back then, I didn’t have a clue how my mind or my body worked. >> Read the rest of this entry »