This issue is one of the relentless and continuing battle, of keeping the insides inside, ‘neath an impermeable (mostly) mental cladding of hardened and tempered steel.

This is to maintain an outward appearance of being a normal fully functional person, whatever normal is.

And; when people ask how are you? The automatic response is. . . fine, because, that is both what they expect, want, and can handle, besides it’s far easier to move on from that than even attempting to explain, what any issues are, and especially to a person who does not communicate.

On with the motley. . . with a tortuously relentless ongoing mental battle of keeping it together, of keeping the insides in as it needs to be. Toughness of the mind as developed from a long time ago for various reasons; and kinda about when dinosaurs walked this earth as they walked amongst the olde ancient oak trees about the rural primary school buildings, thru over the years with more advanced training through sporting and military organisations.

Conditioning the mind to morphing into taking on the properties of tempered steel; hardening under fire, while taking on the temper over time, yet with the transparent properties of lead has been key to keeping the insides in, the outside out, with no one the wiser is the bonus.

This way, to all, unknowingly, this lead-lined steel shell remains impenetrable, with no-one else being the wiser. This is especially at work where this person is for the bulk of the week.

Others see the outside person, the creative, introverted, non-communicative, quiet in the corner getting on with the work person.

The outside person willingly works, explores adventurously, travels tracks rarely trod, yet remains silent during the planning, silent during the adventure with all senses alive, fully aware to the surrounds, and during the follow-up fug of stiffness and associated elevated and subsequent pain.

The outside person is covered in life’s scars, of living life on the edge, often literally, and this shall continue to the end.

The outside body doesn’t belong to the inside person. The inside person is inherently strong, yet with minimal self-esteem, dyslexic to hell and truly sucks at communication. Very few redeeming features really, so best kept in a dark remote shed, beyond the forest in the furthest corner of a field of black stumps.

When watching close friends lose their battles with cancers, the mind works so much harder, not only to keep both the physical and mental pains in the shadows. It’s also to perpetuate the perspective and positivity alive for all. Swapping the tortured tangled anguish with assistance, compassion, respect, and love.

When on dark nights the insides are subjected to the usual darker torment; of incessant nightmares, where lack of sleep, doesn’t turn them away, nor makes them any worse, yet the frequency becomes the norm. Thankfully, the usual daylight hours driven state takes over, and the work focus remains total.

Perhaps the type of work assists in keeping the insides hidden ‘neath the outside. Where memory, attention to detail, coping with the multitudes of tasks required, often simultaneously, combining with the necessary creative element keep the mind’s mental state in overdrive for the ten plus hours daily shift that may involve walking a kilometre or so throughout.

Sitting here, with headphones on, drowning in tears as they’ve streamed for the last three months, with the art that is the music of the ’80s, creating the atmosphere of healing, of distance that is of other places in another time, an escape. The music is so loud it’s physically painful, yet mental mind food, restoring an inner soul, cardiac caressment to the max.

Ensuring this person makes the time for this persons life’s love, has become more important, as they are the ones who are there for me.

Hoping you all enjoy your time this weekend and upcoming. May you find your solutions forthcoming in whatever form you need.

Until next. . . we shall remember the joy of just being there.

Arthritis New Zealand

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