Posts Tagged With: Thomas Dolby

Day 3298: Hyper-vigilance

Hyper-vigilance is well know to me, both as a therapist and as a person diagnosed with PTSD (because of my hospital experiences when I was a child and living with a very rare heart condition for 68 years).

Because of the pandemic, global warming, racism, economic disparities, and many other complex and constant abuses to our psyches and our bodies, there are very few of us who are not hyper-vigilant these days.

Here is a definition of hyper-vigilance from

Yesterday, when I was at a hospital waiting for a bone scan, I tweeted this as I was trying to take deep breaths and slow down some racing thoughts:

Some people on Twitter responded with gratitude for the thought, others pointed out how hyper-vigilance is not a choice. I work on hyper-vigilance every day, and I understand.

Do you see hyper-vigilance in my other images for today?

I think our phones add to our hyper-vigilance, do you?

I want to be vigilant (and not hyper) in wishing a happy birthday to my first husband (and father of our son, Aaron), who reads this blog. Happy birthday, Leon Dave, and many more!

Because of my vigilance in sharing music I love in this blog, here’s one of my favorite Thomas Dolby tunes:

Thanks to all who are vigilant enough to get to the bottom of this “Hyper-vigilance” blog post, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2873: Panic attacks

If you have panic attacks, you are not alone, as you can see by today’s Daily Bitch Calendar.

When people have panic attacks, they often share them with me, because I’m a group and individual therapist. When my husband Michael and I have panic attacks, we share them with each other. Luckily, Michael and I often have panic attacks on alternating days — when he’s panicking I’m usually feeling calm and hopeful and when I’m panicking he’s usually feeling hopeful and calm.

To reduce panic attacks, I breathe, blog, take long walks (masked!) , listen to music, read books, watch funny movies and videos, spend time with calming creatures, search for meaning (on the internet and elsewhere), eat delicious nutritious food, dwell on hope, and take photos.

I’m happy to report that for now, thanks to the kindness of strangers, family, and friends, I’ve stopped having panic attacks about

  • uploading my photos to WordPress,
  • using the new text editor,
  • my internet connection, and
  • the future.

Here’s “Hyperactive!” by Thomas Dolby, complete with panic attacks:

That reminds me … To reduce panic attacks over the upcoming dark and scary months, I’ll be working on something called Therapy: The Musical. Stay tuned.

Reducing panic attacks includes sharing thoughts and feelings, so I hope you share in a comment below.

Also, gratitude attacks beat out panic attacks, so thanks to all who help me attack a new blog post every day, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 747: Oh bother!

Oh bother!

I am bothered, right now, by this: I was THIS CLOSE to publishing a post with random thoughts about “bother,” and it’s gone.

I shall do my best to let go of my bothered thoughts and feelings about that, and begin again.

I hope it won’t bother you, now, if I list some random thoughts about “bother”:

  1. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been bothered by fears about bothering other people.
  2. As human beings, we inevitably bother others and are bothered by them, at times.
  3. It bothers me that there was a third item on my list, but I can’t think of it now.

Oh, bother!

Yesterday morning, at cardiac rehab, I wondered if I was bothering people by

  1. making noise,
  2. taking up space,
  3. getting in the way of others, and
  4. expressing my needs.

Oh, bother!  When I wrote that second list in my almost-completed-but-botheringly-lost first draft of this bothersome post, that had three items, too.

I shall now stop bothering you (and myself) by comparing this post with that lost post (no matter how much I liked it). I also am letting go of any blame of myself, WordPress, or anything else, regarding that loss.

This post — although different from my late, lamented post in how it bothers the universe — will be good enough!

I shall now resume bothering you and my other readers with what happened at cardiac rehab, yesterday morning.

I let go of my fear of bothering others yesterday, by

  1. making noise,
  2. taking up space,
  3. getting in the way of others, and
  4. expressing my needs.

Did that bother other people at cardiac rehab?

When I asked Carla if I was bothering her, she made this bothered face:


Even though it usually bothers me when people make non-smiley faces like that, I LOVE that face of Carla’s.

While Carla was taking my blood pressure (which didn’t bother me at all), we talked about our shared fears of bothering others. It bothers me that nice people like Carla are bothered by that, too.  Perhaps, now that we’ve bothered each other with that “bother” talk, Carla and I will be less bothered about bothering people, in the future.

Here are more photos I bothered to take yesterday, at cardiac rehab:




That’s Penny the Pen on the elliptical and Danise on the chair. Danise was bothered, yesterday, by how her hair looked, even though we kept bothering her by telling her we thought it looked great.

Allow me to bother you with one more photo of Danise and hair:


I hope this doesn’t bother Danise or Carla when they read this, but I prefer Danise’s hair, before.

BTBW,* Penny and I are bothered less by the elliptical, compared to any other exercise machine we’ve tried, so I ordered an elliptical last week, online. I won’t bother you with the details, besides these:

  1. the cost of the elliptical I bought didn’t bother my wallet too much,
  2. it’s PINK,
  3. it got great reviews (especially by people who are my height),
  4. it’s sitting in a box, upstairs, and
  5. I’ll be bothering my boyfriend Michael, over the long weekend, to help me put it together.

BTBW,* after cardiac rehab yesterday, I went to work, where I met with somebody who was bothered by Seasonal Affective Disorder and unhelpful thoughts (which we challenged, together).


My sister Ellen unexpectedly showed up at my workplace, yesterday, which didn’t bother me at all. I told her about developments regarding my likely need for heart surgery, which — as I’ve been blogging about lately — bothers me (although less and less, as time goes on). I cried a little, and my sister’s hug — I believe —  bothered neither her nor me.

What else should I bother you with, today?

This tune by Thomas Dolby  (who never bothers me) has been bothering to show up in my earphones a lot lately:

(It never bothers me to find a great live version of a song on YouTube, like here.)

I’ll probably listen to that this weekend, when I bother to go Hyperactive on my new elliptical!

It won’t bother me, y’know, if you bother to leave a comment below.

Thanks to Carla, Danise, Penny, sister Ellen, boyfriend Michael (in advance, for bothering to help me with the elliptical), Thomas Dolby, all those who have ever bothered or have been bothered by others, and to you (of course!) for bothering to visit here, today.

* I shall bother you with one more thing I created today: BTBW means “By The Bothering Way.”

Categories: blogging, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 454: My brain is like a sieve

Here’s another post, people, where I riff on something that was in my brain …


… when I woke up.


My brain is like a sieve …


… is a phrase that has been bouncing around in my mind, lately, because

When my friend wrote “my brain is like a sieve” on Facebook, she may have meant

I forget too many things

but I did NOT use the helpful skill of reality testing, so I’m not sure what she meant, exactly.

However, I do hear people in my office saying, in one way or another

I forget too many things

as they grow older (as we all do) or if they have any history of memory ailments in their families. When people express concern about their memories, sometimes they use metaphors like


(which was the first Google Image for “my brain is like a sieve). But, no matter how people express it,  I often witness worry and anxiety about forgetting.

And, worry and anxiety can make people’s brains more like sieves. I think I’ve demonstrated that, quite nicely, in several of my blog posts. I can’t tell you which ones, exactly, right now.

My brain is telling me, now, that I should turn to what Thomas Dolby means, when he says


(image found here).

Since I don’t know what Mr. Dolby was thinking when he wrote that song, the best I can do is to present his words:

My brain is like a sieve
sometimes it’s easier to forget
all the bad things you did to me,
you did to me.
my brain is like sieve
but it knows when it’s being messed with
if you wanted you could come in,
so come in.

When you said you loved me
when you told me you cared
that you would be a part of me,
that you would always be there
did you really mean to hurt me?
no, I think you only meant to tease.
But it’s hard to remember,
I lost my memory. See,

my brain is like a sieve
sometimes it’s easier to forget
all the bad things you did to me,
you did to me.
my brain is like sieve
but it knows when it’s being messed with
if you wanted you could come in,
so come in.

You ought to be ashamed of your behaviour
when you’re treating me this way
as if I had deserved to be a place to vent your ire
some day I’m gonna douse that bonfire
we make a crucial team for a dying world
and style is a word I never even heard
in your vocabulary, victim of a murder mystery

My brain is like a sieve
sometimes it’s easier to forget
all the bad things you did to me,
you did to me.
my brain is like sieve
but it’s a place where we both could live
if you wanted you could come in,
so come in.


Now I’m

  • wondering what your brain is telling you, about the meaning of those lyrics and
  • noticing my own thoughts about them.

I can’t know what you’re thinking (unless you share your interpretations in a comment), so I’ll stick to my own ideas about those lyrics, for now.

Unlike Thomas Dolby, I do NOT find it easier to forget the bad things that have happened to me (whether caused by people or other things).  No, quite the opposite.  As I’ve written about here, many times,  the bad things — the painful experiences — are the things that tend to stick.

As a matter of fact, here’s another possible title for this blog:

The Year(s) of Making My Brain The Opposite of a Sieve, Regarding the Good Things, and Making My Brain More Like a Sieve, Regarding the Painful Things

… but that’s too long, don’t you think? Even if somebody had a perfect memory — a brain with absolutely no sieve-like holes in it — that title would be very difficult to remember. And, it would be much harder to communicate, when I’m telling people about this blog.

Which reminds me of the opening I went to, last night, of the Photography Exhibit, Ravishing, which includes works by Leonard Nimoy, Bear Kirkpatrick, Alicia Savage, Jeffrey Heyne, and — last, but certainly not least — Jonathan Stark, who is my long-time friend AND my ex-partner from Koplow Stark Creative.*

Here’s a photo I snapped at that event, last night:


Left to right, that’s Alicia Savage, Jonathan, Bear Kirkpatrick, and Jeffrey Heyne. Leonard Nimoy couldn’t attend, but he may appear, via Skype from California, when Jonathan gives a talk at Gallery 555, in South Boston on April 19.  The photos, in my photo above, are by Jonathan, which he’ll be speaking about in April.

Here’s one more image I captured last night, at the photography exhibit opening:


I snapped that work, by Bear Kirkpatrick, at the same time I took my other photo: during the panel discussion with all the photographers.

My brain, right now, is reminding me of a transition I left dangling in this post, above, regarding the length of the title of this blog.


If you don’t remember, that does NOT prove that your brain is like a sieve. Not at all.

This is what I’ve left unfinished, in this blog post:  Last night, I typed, into somebody’s cell phone, the title of this blog, which took a little while, because it’s so friggin’ long already.

Here’s what happened: As Michael and I were leaving the gallery and saying goodbye to Jonathan, Jonathan introduced us to Bernard Murphy.  Bernard  immediately noticed my Chakra Bracelet:


(which has appeared previously in this blog, here).

In response to Bernard’s compliment, I said, “That’s a bracelet I purchased from another blogger.” I then declared, with some pride, “I’m a blogger!”

And Bernard said, “I’m a blogger, too!”

Guess where Bernard blogs?

Here’s the link to Bernard’s blog:

I just visited there, and it looks like Bernard and I have some things in common.

I wonder if Bernard posts goofy photos, like me?


Thanks to Wikipedia (for the photos and entries for “brain” and “sieve”), to my friends (on Facebook and elsewhere), to Thomas Dolby, to Jonathan and the other wonderful photographers I saw last night, to Bernard and the other WordPress bloggers I’ve been honored to meet (including Irene, who made the Chakra bracelet), to those who express their fears and other feelings as best they can, and to people whose brains are like sieves or like anything else. And — of course! — thanks to you, for visiting my brain, today.

* Koplow Stark Creative was an advertising/marketing company that Jonathan and I co-founded and ran in the 1980s and 1990s. We did some great work together, if I do say so myself (and if my brain is not a sieve).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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