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Posted by Bill


Sometimes our little world is rocked
and it’s no wonder we get shocked.
It’s like an earthquake in the sea
as shock waves cause the tsunami.

Once it stops you think you’ve coped
or at least that’s what you hoped.
Then suddenly you feel the strain
as those shockwaves come again.

Sometimes a shock can cause distress
and this can put you under stress.
Duress and stress affect the mind
then the world can seem unkind.

Sometimes you feel you’re on your own
whilst straying from your comfort zone.
But others also take a knock
at the time of your own shock.

Some sound advice when you’re in shock
would be to pause and then take stock.
Count your blessings one by one.
think of the good things you have done.

Do make sure you fill your time
or find a ladder you can climb.
For you need to take some action
that will give you a distraction.

It’s times like these you need a friend
when you think your world will end.
Someone who will still be there
when you need someone to care.

It’s hard to cope with sudden change
you suffer shock and things seem strange.
But I can tell by what you say
confidence will return someday.

B. Withers 2012

See all blogs by Bill
Jul 18, 2017
Angelicamarie : Bill a very good subject, shock is something that we all experience.But the way you explained it makes it easier for others to comprehend. Thanks for flow!!!
Jul 18, 2017
iMacG5 : Beautiful! There's so much here besides the rhyme. Your writings could easily be accepted as lessons in life and living. You must have been, and continue to be, a good student of the language with postgrad credentials in people stuff. Thanks for sharing the gifts or your efforts.
Jul 19, 2017
Bill : Thank you so much Angelica and Mike for your lovely supportive comments as it means a lot to me to know that there are people out there who appreciate the rhymes and the concepts within them.
Having been largely self-taught, it is sometimes surprising what we actually learn in the course of a lifetime. The language is how we communicate but what we learn can be vastly different from the words we use to describe what we see. Over the years, I have come to appreciate what 'lies between the lines', rather than take the words at face value so I perceive the underbelly of the world from a slightly different perspective from those who tend to see and hear what other people want them to.
Some years ago I coined the term 'fringe-edgers' to describe people like me who find themselves(or choose to be) on the edge of human society, looking in, rather than living in the thick of it. That perspective on life is a huge and different story but I often hear reflections of what it's like for people to find themselves temporarily in the position of being a 'fringe-edger', when I read stories from newbie ostomates about trying to adjust to feeling 'different'. Describing the experience and the feelings is sometimes better done in poetry than in prose because poetry has become the language of emotions, whereas prose tends to have confined the writers to various forms of logic.
Enough of that! Lest I get carried away on a fast moving hobby-horse.
Best wishes
Jul 24, 2017
Silveradokid : Yes, Bill, I'm "shocked" by your post! Friends help and distractions are a "must" in my world. Thank you for sharing. Makes me feel sane...
Jul 25, 2017
Bill : Hello Silveradokid.
Thanks very much for your feedback, it is comforting to know that people get something from the verses, although I'm not sure why my in-sanity should make others feel sane. Perhaps it's because it is more 'normal' to feel insane in a mad-mad world, than it is to delude ourselves that we are not insane to put up with the deranged state of affairs.
Best wishes
Jul 29, 2017
CharK63 : Bill,
I envy your ability to write in prose because you communicate so well while at the same time your language is so fluid and pretty.
I have so many words in me that its difficult to make my point without adding more words to make clear what I'm talking about. Then when I see how ridiculously long my posts are I try to edit and muddy up my whole point.
I think they now give meds to folks like me that think too fast to express thoughts sensibly. My speech is doubly crazy because i talk so fast it's like a blur to everybody. I have a total phobia of making business phone calls because nobody understands me on the phone at all. I've taken classes for going to job interviews, for example, and how to slow down but I am worse in nervous situations like that than ever.
I didn't have trouble learning and I got good grades in school but my whole life I've been in trouble for talking too much especially in school.
How long does it take you to write something like this piece. Do you have to structure beforehand or does it just flow like a second language? What's your secret? Like I said, I have a lot of words in me but now I have trouble coming up with them lol!
Jul 29, 2017
CharK63 : Bill,
Wait a minute! You got me off track! Are you Ok? Did something happen to give you a scare/shock? You have many, many friends and you've helped so many folks you don't ever have to feel alone. I count myself as one of them if that's ok with you.
Aug 01, 2017
Buddy-time : Hey Bill, you cover a lot of territory in this bit of poetry/prose. Good on you. I liked each new thought/verse.
Just to say I am new to this Osto community and Quite new with this new detour highway for intake and "OUTPUT" ... not in love with it but learning ..!!
Just when I think it is free sailing, and thinking it is "old hat" .. yep, I got it ..?
It has helped me to read the input by many (old & new) here in Ostomate. Thanks .. cheers Doreen
Aug 02, 2017
Bill : Hello Charlotte.Thanks for your posts and your kind comments about the writing.
Let's take your second post first and say that when we suddenly get a stoma and have to adjust to a new way of life, it is bound to be a shock. Having been there and done that, it only seemed right that I capture the concepts in verse, as that is the way I make sense of the nonsense. Because people on this site have the stoma in common, then in all probability we have experienced some form of shock as well. Hopefully, the verse will ring a bell with others and they may get something from seeing it all in a different light.
In your first post you tell us about a phenomenon that the medics often call 'racing' thoughts and you are right that they try to 'treat' this as a mental disorder and use psychotropic medication to slow the mind. In fact, most of their medication slows the mind down so much that people complain about feeling like Zombies. Then they give more medication to counterbalance the sometimes horrific side-effects of their medication.
There are other ways to manage this condition but I would not have time to explain it all in one hit. However, what I would say to begin with is that the condition should not be viewed as altogether a dysfunctional disorder. Some of the most brilliant minds in history have manifested this 'racing' but they have managed to control and channel it and then put it to good use. The condition seems to be a 'natural' tendency which is unlikely to go away, so it's best to think about 'management' rather than 'cure'. ( A bit like having a stoma!!)There are some very simple techniques that can help with the racing mind and they all involve taking the thoughts and expressing them in a way that slows the process down. In my case, I'll focus on a topic of interest and force myself to capture the concept in rhyming verse. This often involves a deeper than normal concentration and focus, which helps prevent the mind racing off onto other, seemingly more interesting topics. The poems take between a few minutes and a few hours to complete but when they are done, they usually express what I wanted to say in a way that other people can understand( as the communication is slowed down in the writing --and even more so in the reading.
There is a whole theory behind the way I go about utilising my thoughts but with regard to helping people control their own thinking I developed a technique I called 'Constructive Conversations', in which I enable participants to express their thoughts through question and answers that they think up themselves so they can 'race' as much as they like and it still makes sense because they are controlling the whole process. Gradually they come to understand and integrate the methods into their everyday conversations with others, which helps them to 'manage' their external communications more effectively.
As usual, there is far too much to explain than is possible in the time available before I go to work but I HOPE TO HAVE WHET YOUR APPETITE FOR FINDING OUT MORE about the DIY approach to managing this condition.
Best wishes
Aug 02, 2017
Bill : Hello Doreen.
Thank you for your post. It is always good to receive feedback on the verses, especially when it's positive. Then I can feel that writing the verses has been a worthwhile pursuit, not just for myself, which is obviously the motivation for doing some of it in the first place.
There are quite a few previous verses on 'Stomas', which I think can be found on my profile as 'previous posts', if you are interested.
Best wishes
Aug 26, 2017
CharK63 : Hi Bill,
It's been a long time since I've been on the site and I really don't know why or what I've been doing but I can say this much: my house is currently closer to my normal standard of 'clean' and that's a real good thing because it goes to show that I'm beginning to be somewhat 'normal' again. Yay! It's been about 2 months that my stoma wound site has been closed which means I may finally have the MRSA infection under control. You can probably see that I remain guarded on the subject because I don't want to jinx myself by bragging and require further treatment. I'll just say that I'm aware and pleased to have ANY kind of normalcy.
Except every bit of good news goes hand-in-hand with bad and mine is not severe enough to cry over but I've gained 15lbs in 6 weeks and when you're only 5'2" that's quite a lot! So much so that my clothes no longer fit and I am SO uncomfortable! I also feel the difference because I feel sluggish and awkward moving around. I've been so happy about losing over 100lbs. before my surgeries and that it was effortless because I changed my whole lifestyle (getting divorced, losing my license, quit drinking, moving in with my mom, but mostly having to walk to get anywhere including grocery shopping.) I lost more weight from being ill and having surgeries but in this California heat I can't get it together to walk down to the stores or even walk my poor little dog. I'm paying for TAXIS! How decadent is that?
Anyway that's me in a BIG nutshell whether you wanted it or not, so sorry.
What I want from you is to know how you write your prose please. Do you sit down and it all pours out in one sitting, with some polishing I'm sure, or do you gather some lines over a length of time? Do you make an outline like we were taught in school? I'm not asking for trade secrets just a general idea because I'd like to try it. I also want to learn how to play the guitar, puzzle out some of my mom's health problems, teach my grandson algebra and create some fine pieces of jewelry before Christmas to put it in perspective.
Steven King said, "Writer's write." I haven't got that down yet so please satisfy my curiousity. I probably will stick with, "Dreamers dream." Right?
Thank you, hope you are doing well,
Aug 27, 2017
Bill : Hello Charlotte.
Thank you so much for your informative post and I'm pleased to know that you seem to be on the mend in many ways. (sorry to here about the weight but maybe not everything in life goes right all the time, all together).
As for the writing, there are no trade secrets as far as I am concerned and Steven King as absolutely right in his two-word explanation.
I can see from your post(s) that you are already an accomplished writer about things that you have some knowledge and interest in. If you re-read your post above it is abundantly clear that there are things on your mind that make it easy for you to simply let it pour out. That's a great way to write because it comes from your heart and is not contrived.
In my own case, I consider myself fortunate and unfortunate in the writing field. Fortunate because I was never taught and had to learn how to do it virtually from scratch long after I left school. However, this was unfortunate in that I never learned how to spell or the first thing about grammar an all that stuff. However, it is also fortunate that we live in a time of word processors that will do all that basic stuff for us. Before that, I used to dictate it into a machine and get someone else to physically write it for me. That probably doesn't help you very much in trying to fathom who to go about putting pen to paper, or more likely, fingers to keyboard.
I remember one of my college tutors telling me that a basic tenet of writing is to have a beginning-middle and end to the manuscript. I argued that all my work was ongoing so there was no ending and therefore no middle. That did not phase him at all so what he then said was to treat it like an artist paints pictures; just do it until the picture becomes clear and satisfies your need to explain the concept in your head - then STOP! ( or rather stand away and see if it can be tweaked to make it more acceptable) Then put it down and start ANOTHER PICTURE with the same technique. once you have enough pictures, then you can put them all together and have an 'exhibition'.
It's the same with story-telling for me. I have an idea/concept that I want to explain and write it down so that I don't forget it. Then I think about it and expand on it until I've said all I want to say. It then gets put down and I move on to the next concept. This is a relatively easy way of going about things if it's rhyming verse because I nearly always limit myself to four lines per verse and eight verses per poem. With writing prose, I try to limit each chapter/concept to ten pages, which helps me to keep track of where I am in the collection of concepts(story). In my case, the writing of one chapter usually throws up some more linked or related concepts, which form the ideas for the next chapter, until I feel it is enough for a reasonable 'exhibition' (publication) For poetry this usually means between 50-100 poems but occasionally I've been known to extend that to 300-350 when the subject matter has not been exhausted within my normal self-imposed limits.
There is an facet to my own writing, which the reader might not be able to recognise because it is overlaid by the writing: This is how to 'structure' (put together) the concepts in such a way that it makes sense in terms of the beginning, middle and end. Most artists do not just put his/her pictures on an exhibition wall at random but choose a sequence of viewing which will show them off to their best advantage.
I have chosen to write my stories so that the climax (usually the death of the villain) is somewhere in the middle of the book. This is partly to thwart those who begin their reading at the end so that they can read through the story in the knowledge that they already know what the ending is.( My wife is one of those readers!)
There are so many things I could say about writing but here is a method that I used to enable emotionally unstable people to think logically rather than emotionally. I got them to ask their own questions and formulate their own answers in a sequence that led them to cover the whole subject matter comprehensively to the best of their ability. The technique is what I labelled as 'constructive conversations' because it starts with a firm foundation ( the philosophy of self-organised learning) AND PROCEEDS TO BUILD BRICK ON BRICK until the finished product is recognisable as having a discernible 'structure'.
The questions are: WHAT-WHO-WHEN-WHERE-HOW - WHINK- WHEM - WHEXT. perhaps a short explanation is necessary.
All questions are subsumed under the prime question - which is WHAT; so 'what' is what is;( the subject to concentrate on for todays chapter) who is WHAT person(s) (is relevant) WHEN is WHAT time/ WHERE is what place/HOW is WHAT explanation/ WHINK is WHAT do you think/ WHEM is WHAT emotions are relevant? WHEXT is WHAT next - what do we do with all this information?
This technique has enabled me to structure many books around my thinking on a particular subject and it has the advantage of encouraging the creative process of talking to oneself in a structured and meaningful way(without going mad in the process!)
I hope this has given you some insight into the way I write but more importantly perhaps a few ideas as to how you can go about it. However, just one more thing which connects back to Steven King's statement. I set aside specific, regular times when I sit down and write so that the process become habitual and routine. I endeavour to write at least a page a day, which by my calculations is 365 pages per year, which is enough for a publishable book (or many more smaller booklets).
My allocated time on here is now up for today so this conversation must end here for now. I hope you find it helpful and I also hope you find your own way to express yourself in writing, just as you do in your posts.
Best wishes
Aug 27, 2017
CharK63 : Bill,
Thank you for responding. I love to read what you write. As I was reading I experienced many emotions. The first being panic, the second was a question. How can I clear my brain of all the clutter to apply your technics. Then there was "awe" and "oh?" When you applied format.
I thought, "Really?" About your self imposed limits, then, dang!" about your discipline.
In my opinion that is as good as it gets in reading something. If it gives me some advice and gives me something to think about then I've found an excellent writer. And the cream on the cake is something to strive for.
Thank you so much. The entertainment is just for fun. Excellent!
Aug 27, 2017
CharK63 : P.S. Some days I am a better thinker than other days so I can express myself better.
The beauty of getting well is lessening the worryis, the panics, and the fears of the unknown which are so much bigger than the pains but that doesn't help at all.
I admit that I am excitable and a lot of bipolar but I pretty much accept myself.
That must be why "discipline" is not one of my strongpoints
Aug 27, 2017
Silveradokid : Hi Charlotte and Bill. Too many years ago I attended a writer's conference held at Hofstra University in Nassau County, New York. It lasted a week but on one no-particular day our group of approximately 30 aspiring authors attended a private 'conference,' if you will, with Kurt Vonnegut. He looked out over the crowd. Dead silence ensued. He pursed his lips thoughtfully and said, "I can see almost everyone here has a nice tan. What a shame." As a group, we looked back at Mr. Vonnegut in questionable awe. What ever was he referring to? I noticed his skin was rather dry and offered up a pale-white hue. He could definitely have used some natural vitamin D. Vonnegut told us that in his opinion, and world, writing was Work. And he went to work every day. Nine to five. Did he always write? No. But during that time he always worked. Rereading, editing, jotting down ideas. Working. And he said IF we developed such a commitment to the task of creativity, our chances for success would improve. There are no guarantees. But there comes a point when we stop being our own critics and express the creativity that lies within. By regular, every day work. The miracles come when we advance them from wishes to work...
Aug 27, 2017
Bill : Hello Silveradokid & Charlotte.
Thanks Kid for joining in on this post and having re read my own response, I realise that I did not include the fact that I too view the process as 'work'. - It's just that I like to do mine part-time, along with several other part-time jobs.
I do like the idea that Kurt recognised that suntans do not indicate that the wearers are spending much time indoors, writing.
When I used to visit New Zealand on a regular yearly trip, this was a concept I would try to convey to my audience over there, when they were too busy surfing, hang-gliding, bungee-jumping, microliting, mountain climbing, skiing and generally enjoying themselves to have time left over to focus on the process of writing. Needless to say, anything I said was probably lost on them and I cannot say that I blame them for that. After all, we only have one life and I'm a great believer in spending the brief time we are here, doing things we 'like' doing. If writing falls into that category, then it can't be a bad thing.
Best wishes
Aug 28, 2017
CharK63 : Bill & Silver,
Except there is that theory that you must LIVE life before you can write about it.
I like your idea of it being part time work. I've heard of writers,including Steven King, that are so consumed with writing they are practically chained to a desk. That their families rarely get to see them actually interacting with them because they are constantly gnawing on one idea or another. That's true in the art world as well, and silly me, in computer programming and many other obsessive fields.
I'll say again, I like your idea of part time work as an author. However I should not even get a vote as I have been only remarkable as an under achiever who's mostly smelled the roses in my life.
It's kind of crazy that people often seek my advice. I have to assume it's cuz they know I'm listening to them. I don't want to give advice and I often hold back so I don't say the wrong thing or more basically I don't want to fill that role. I finally can't stand it any more and say, "what in the world did you expect or are you dumb as a box of rocks in your thinking?"
I've been told that's another reason people look toward me for advice. They want someone who won't accept their b.s. that they've been trying to sell themselves.
Thank you again for responding,
Aug 28, 2017
Bill : Hello Charlotte.
I do like your reasoning about giving 'advice. I have always begun with the gambit that 'I don't give advice' , then I go on to say that I am willing to assist people to ask their own questions and find their own answers. If they are still interested, I will introduce them to the concept of 'constructive conversations' and self-organised learning. This either puts them right off or brings them on board to explore a new way of constructively talking to themselves in order to find their own answers, rather than looking for someone else to provide answers for them.
I have a number of humorous stories about individuals who were looking for a 'magic-wand' approach and became quite frustrated that this was not available on the NHS.
Best wishes

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