Ghosts in the Machine…

June 2010. Mum had just passed away. I was in the house on my own, and it was slightly ghostly to say the least.

There was a telephone console in the living room that connected to a call centre in the North of England. The reason for its installation was that Mum, in her last few years, was becoming less mobile and the call centre was for elderly people who had fallen while indoors or some other emergency. Mum had a device where she could press a button if she needed the call centre and she was put straight through.

After she passed away, there was of course no need for this console any more. But I didn’t know how to disconnect it and return it to the manufacturers. So I left it. 

I fell asleep on the sofa one night and it must have been the small hours of the morning, when I heard this whirring and clicking sound, followed by a voice. The console had clicked itself into operation and the call was going through to the call centre. I hadn’t touched the console, there were no loose wires or connections. It did it all on it’s own. To say it frightened the life out of me at 3 in the morning was an understatement.

I dropped off back to sleep after I cancelled the call. Then an hour or so later, the whole process started again. This was very spooky. Mum had gone a week and her spirit was very much living on, making calls from beyond the grave! 

I was in the house for a further five months, the console had been returned, but the ghostly feeling of just me in a two bedroom house was still there. I felt alone, afraid and there was no one there to talk to. All very supernatural. But the ghost of my recently deceased mother lived on….

Allen Brooks xx

The horrors of The Barcelona Terror Attack

Also yesterday, the horrors of the evil terror attack in Barcelona were brought home to a worldwide audience. A friend of mine, whose daughter lives there, sent a video of the incident happening, where people were lying scattered in the road, having been mown down by people who do nothing for their individual faith. It was the usual attack where a vehicle was used and later, dummy explosive devices. Those other perpretators met a swift and decisive end at the hands of Spanish police.

When I saw the video, I went cold. How can people do this? Well they do, and will stop at nothing to do so. We all have a responsibility, even our world leaders, to stop this barbarity and indiscriminate killing. It’s a sad and evil world out there. I won’t say any more.

Allen Brooks xx

Life is the name of the game…RIP Sir Bruce Forsyth

One of Britain’s finest ever entertainers, Sir Bruce Forsyth, has passed away at the age of 89. Sir Bruce hadn’t been well the last couple of years, so the news isn’t a total shock. 

Brucie was on the television in the UK for many decades, singing, dancing, telling jokes, presenting game shows and having a rapport with people that transcended all divides. He was a Londoner, like myself, and his career was a long and distinguished one. One memory from my childhood was his presenting of the Generation Game. I couldn’t stand him or the show when I was a child. I used to hate the fact he took the mickey out of people. Over the years though, I grew to like him and his style. He seemed immortal, as though he would never fade away, but the ultimate arbiter upstairs decided on his fate. 89 though is a fantastic life. 

Brucie had many catchphrases, but the one that marks him out was “Nice to see you, to see you nice!”. It has certainly been nice to see Sir Bruce, many many times.

Allen Brooks xx

What’s been going on?

Hello. Yesterday was Peer Support day. There were eight of us and it was extremely enjoyable, as always.

Then it was off to music bingo, where my ears took a real hammering. The punters poured in from far and wide and the host got rid of the tickets in very little time, illustrating the pulling power of the event.

Though me or my friend and colleague didn’t win, it was difficult hearing the songs at times because of the raucous cacophony of the audience and by the end, my ear drums were crying enough. It was also a warm evening and the atmosphere inside the pub was extremely close and muggy. Not the most comfortable of evenings, but enjoyable all the same. 

I collapsed into bed, but awoke at 3 in the morning to my legs itching like mad. I must have spent ages virtually scratching them to pieces. What caused this I’m not too sure, but again, the tablets could be the culprit. I managed to get off to sleep, and the sound of one of our work friends and colleagues walking through the door awoke me about 9. Those bacon rolls and cup of tea are too good to resist!

This afternoon, I ran a bath, but I decided to catch up on the sleep I missed out on last night. Tummy troubles? Some slight ones this afternoon, but I think my digestive system is getting used to the increase in medication. I have slept rather well though. 

Well, that’s it. See you later.

Allen Brooks xx

Determined to enjoy Thursday…

Morning. No tummy troubles this morning and I’m a little more compos mentis than is normal of a morning time.

Peer Support group today and a chance to thank everyone for showing up at my birthday do last Saturday. And tonight, it’s back to Music Bingo. I’m determined to enjoy this particular Thursday. I need to come out of the other side of yet another period of illness. Today will help.

Allen Brooks xx

Danger of Self Destruction…

Spending a lot of time on my own, as I’m prone to do, gives rise to something called rumination. Over thinking. And that gives rise to paranoia and very irrational thoughts.

Though I should be pleased I’ve made it through another year as of last Saturday, the niggling doubts and low self esteem come to the fore. Am I good enough? Do people like and respect me? These and many other questions swirl around my over fertile imagination, leading to paranoid thoughts and general low confidence.

Thinking back to early June, when the latest relapse started, I do wonder where it’s all going to end, and I can get my life back to some form or other? I have to struggle through day to day, and just be thankful I’ve made it through another day on the road to my 46th year.

Though Saturday should have been a night of celebration, there were questions I was asking myself. Could it have gone better? Could I have arranged things better? But I was grateful for the people that did show up and helped me through the evening. It’s just a difficult spell I’m going through at the moment. It will end and I will return to pre-June normality. People do like me, and people do respect me. It’s just when the mind is a cauldron of thoughts, good things get discarded in favour of negativity and paranoia. And that isn’t good.

On we go…

Allen Brooks xx

Struggling to adjust to the new meds…

Evening. It’s been two weeks since I was changed from 30mg dose of Mirtazapine to 45mg. Increasing or decreasing doses of anti depressant medication brings attendant side issues that can hinder any kind of improvement.

For example, these new tablets are playing havoc with my digestion. I was in bed one night about a week ago, trying to sleep, but with very bad stomach cramps going on. It couldn’t be anything I’d drank or eaten, so it must be this new medication. I managed to relieve the cramps, without going into the gory details, by going to the loo. 

I thought, well it must be the body getting used to the tablets, I’ll be ok in a few days. Wrong. The stomach cramps have returned today with a vengeance and I’ve been doubled up on occasion with pain. Not good. Again, the relief has come by frequent visits to the loo. 

Sorry if you’re eating your dinner, but I’m just outlining the dangers of medication change. I think a visit to the doctor could be in order, to see what he can recommend. I don’t want to be in physical pain on most days, thank you very much.

Allen Brooks xx