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! Sound of Music - AKA "These are a few of my favourite things" in a Permaculture World

 
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This forum is about looking after your Mates.  As an ex Defence member, I like many others have the mental health challenges that a lot of veterans have.  We often feel the need to isolate and are often misunderstood by the general community

We each develop a set of strategies to manage our lives, including gardening. living off grid, walking, running and biking.  We also indulge in risk taking behaviours such as alcohol abuse and taking other drugs to change our mind states.
RUOK is a way of mates checking on mates.  A lot of us are Permies in fact or at heart so this forum aims to meet like minded people who have found their favourite way to turn the storm clouds of life into raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens........  And enjoying being Permies.  In connecting, we can ask: RUOK? And we can endeavour to help keep our mates safe.
 
Paul Fookes
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Great news - Australia will now have a Royal Commission into Veterans' suicide.  Just trying to keep our mates safe.
Next time you are talking to a Veteran, just ask,RUOK?
 
Paul Fookes
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This forum is about looking after your Mates.  As an ex Defence member, I like many others have the mental health challenges that a lot of veterans have.  We often feel the need to isolate and are often misunderstood by the general community



So, looking after your mates is just half of it.  Yesterday, I was talking with the partner of a Veteran and she was saying he is "Angry".  The tears welled up.  In looking after our mates, we need to always remember that there partners are with them all the time.  AND they need respite.  So how do we manage to gift that?  It is an opportunity to have a cuppa with the veteran and their partner, to engage, change the context or simply insert a circuit breaker.

A big issue is the self medication - alcohol, tobacco, legal drugs misused or illegal drugs.  Being mind altering, the message does not always get across and if the veteran is using ice (amphetamines), the situation can quickly become explosive.  So sometimes we need to manage the situation by just leaving and getting the partner to leave and seek the help of the health care providers.

In 99% of times, a cuppa works wonders.  Veterans being there for Veterans helps.  Veterans being there for veterans' families is better.

To our Permies Veterans and their families, thank you all for your service to your country and an especial thank you to the families for being the rock that our veterans can lean on.
 
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Howdy Paul,


          There is something in your posts that resonates and I'd like to make a few comments about it. First, thanks for shedding light on and the cost paid by those whose core belief was to protect, something which is never addressed well in the media. Next, I love the idea that Mollison presented in a video, he suggested something like showing up a the border of a country with machines and equipment and people and accomplishing all the Permaculture techniques and processes to help the situation of the people there. His idea is echoed rather nicely by Jim Channon of the First Earth Battalion fame wherein he describes the revisioning of the armed forces of all countries to act in concert in healing the biosphere or Gaia or Nerthus if you will.  These are lovely thoughts, people engaged in healing rather than the other stuff. Most particularly, I find that the Warriors have their own wounds which they carry with them because of their choice, or not, which includes the large stories that are told to people and believed unconsciously to our detriment. I see that all people carry wounds from childhood and adulthood. In some sense perhaps we all have our own kinds of PTSD and are seeking to find our way to wholeness. There is I think no patent answer, but as you say, to seek friends, brothers, sisters, family and the people who will help, all the while remembering as best we can the beauty of life, the richness of it, the promise of it.
          I especially like your words, "A lot of us are Permies in fact or at heart so this forum aims to meet like minded people who have found their favourite way to turn the storm clouds of life into raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens........" not only because it's one of my favorite songs; it's a most telling statement and one that I agree with, we, human beings, have more in common than we have differences. It would be a worthy effort I think, to dispense mostly with politics and all the stories of division and see what is and only what is and respond to that. So, in closing, here's to our favorite things, remembering that what we focus on is what grows.

              Cheers,  


             Thomas
 
Paul Fookes
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Thank you Thomas.

There is I think no patent answer



You are right, each of us is an unique being and as such our experience and response to it is also unique.  One size does not fit all.  When we engage with another person, it is important to see the world from their paradigm not your own.  To my mind, this is where mental health care professionals sometimes miss the mark.

If we can engage with one person to bring them back from their edge, veteran or not, we have done good for not only for that person but their family and their community.  A few words has a significant but often unseen effect.
Again, thank you.
Best wishes
Paul
 
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I think all of this makes a lot of sense even for people who aren't veterans or trying to support veterans (although obviously that is a profoundly important cause and I don't want to derail this thread).

Something that I have come to understand over the past year or so of my life is that most people are struggling under burdens far heavier than we might imagine simply by taking a cursory glimpse of their lives; here are some examples just in my circle of friends and acquaintances:

--one neighbor likely has stomach cancer, his wife is in the beginning stages of alzheimers, and they have 3 out of their 4 grown children living with them in a house that they are too poor to expand
--another neighbor had their house burn to the ground 2 years ago, is living in a loaned house, and due to the high stress levels of the new job he has taken to pay bills and be able to afford a new house, he feels like he is staving off a second heart attack
--an acquaintance of mine is trying desperately to get a new restaurant off the ground in the middle of covid restrictions, her brother died in an accident last year, and her husband is likely dying of diabetes
--a girl I know has an emotionally abusive narcissist husband who gaslights her at every turn, and she can't figure out yet whether he is a good guy or a bad guy

I could go on and on, but the thing that strikes me in each of these cases is that all of these people "seem to be okay". And they're not! Life is really really difficult for a lot of people, but we seem to be mostly content to accept the veneer of okay-ness in order to avoid responsibility in the matter. So I think that Paul's message here of taking a closer look and offering some basic human kindness is really a beautiful one. I know that I am struggling through a lot of things in my life that I don't let on about to just anybody...so someone that comes in and offers no-strings-attached help or support is just an angel in my eyes.

I think that community is a very important ingredient in permaculture. It's time we start rebuilding our culture, one cuppa at a time 😉
 
Paul Fookes
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Marie Abell wrote: I know that I am struggling through a lot of things in my life that I don't let on about to just anybody...so someone that comes in and offers no-strings-attached help or support is just an angel in my eyes.  I think that community is a very important ingredient in permaculture. It's time we start rebuilding our culture, one cuppa at a time 😉


Thank you Marie for joining the discussion.  I absolutely agree about building community/ our culture one cuppa at a time.  What you are talking about is one of the first steps in psychological first aid - engagement.

We look at some peoples' lot in life and think that in the big scheme we are doing OK.  It is important that we all look after number one.  When working with new mothers, it took a lot of convincing to get it through to them that they were number one in their life.  If they were not OK they could not adequately look after their new baby or contribute to care of the rest of the family.  

someone that comes in and offers no-strings-attached help or support is just an angel in my eyes

 
Completely!! Peer friendship and professional friendship are vital in caring professions.  My mantra is that when you need to talk, you need to talk and I do not care if it 3 AM.  The second thing is to be honest.  If I believe that you need more support that I can give, I will help you to get it - it is a journey upon which I am prepared to hold your hand even though you will get angry with me - but that is OK.  The other thing that helps up is activity.  Permies gardening, building and interacting with nature are already on a healing journey - each within the limitations of their disability.

My start was building a chook house - the chooks were dependent on me so I was responsible to get out each day and feed them.  Animals in their own way give us unconditional love.  Over time, we can move from others loving us to self love. We also develop better physical wellness.  It is the journey both physical and mental.

Best wishes for your journey.
 
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