Health and Happiness

In a recent blog, Carol Craig of the Scottish Centre for Confidence and Well-being mentions seeing Lady Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister, in a television interview. Carol notes that the so-called Iron Lady lookedscary – a horrendous wicked witch with a twisted mouth and face of stone” and reminds us of how Lady Thatcher has never forgiven her colleagues for removing her from office. I am also working with a young woman who describes her mother as having been bitter and full of resentment and suggest that her death at the comparitively young age of 59 from pancreatic cancer might have been the manifestation of her bitterness eating her body away from inside.

I’m not sure about that. The Vanguard programme run by the Centre for Confidence and Well-being draws to a close tomorrow with an open -pace event in the Scottish Parliament. We have learned on the programme how positivity, optimism and happiness do lead to an extended life. I suppose, therefore, that I have to accept that the opposite emotions shorten life but I am not sure that we can ascribe illnesses such as cancer to negative emotional states. I have seen too many positive, happy people die young and bitter old crones appearing to live for ever.

I spent some time on Friday afternoon working with a group of women who run a refuge (or refuges) for women with addiction problems and their children. I was trying, with mixed success, to get them to take on board some of these issues and trying to get them to use these tools both to improve their own lives and to teach to their clients. Some, but not all, were convinced.

I know one thing for certain. I have been depressed in my life and happy. I know which I prefer. I intend to go out laughing.

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