Beware of Punctuation!

Gabrielle laughing her head off

One evening whilst I was still on my 'holding' medication (the tranquilising stuff), my hubby taught me how to tag my blog entries. Tagging helps readers find entries under headings that are of particular interest to them. For example, some of my tags are:

  • Depression
  • Coaching Approach
  • Useful Tool/Technique
  • Teaching
  • Etc..

You'll see the tags that apply to this entry at the top of it.

Since commas are used to separate the various tags in the system, tagging necessitates attention to punctuation. Tagging demanded a huge effort of concentration on my part because I was on a strong dose of tranquilising drugs. I really put my heart into doing this little bit of 'technical' work and I treble-checked everything I had done.

When I had finished, I went to show my husband what I had accomplished: my very first tagging exercise. I was very pleased with myself for having managed it. Being the technologist he is and being used to reading programming language on screen, he immediately saw three mistakes: I had typed semi-colons instead of commas. He rectified my mistakes in a split-second but the effect my 'failure' had on me was devastating. I became very upset, way over and beyond what my little mishap deserved, especially since my hubby was very complimentary about my achievement. I was definitely not well - tranquilised but NOT well...

I cried and told my hubby what a total waste of space I felt. He listened patiently and supportively (as he always does) and then he reminded me that nobody had died. Besides, he added with a smile, those damned semi-colons could be very tricky.  This made me smile too and we then started imagining all sorts of silly things we could possibly say about the dangers of punctuation.  We got to the stage where we both laughed uncontrollably because, following on from the previous desastrous Saturday, we imagined the following scenario (based on the questions the Triage  Doctor really asked me).

At the Phoenix Centre with the 'Triage' Doctor:

Doctor: " Do you hear voices?"

Me: "No."

Doctor: "Do you think anybody is after you?"

Me: "Yes ! Semi-colons are after me. Those semi-colons are dangerous."

My husband: "But she is much better because she is OK with exclamation marks."

If it were not for the fact that we might both be sectioned on the spot, we were very tempted to go through triage again with this little scenario just to see the doctor's face! And which box could he possibly tick on his computerised form?!?

Since then of course, we check regularly to see whether there are any punctuation marks lurking around the place. You've got to be vigilant: punctuation can be very dangerous indeed. After all, can it not change the whole meaning of a sentence? :0)

I ran across your blog by

I ran across your blog by accident while doing research on a story I am working on and after reading a few enteries I felt compelled to at least write something to you.

I am glad you are using your blog as a form of therapy and truly hope at some point sooner then later you learn how to control your depressional stages. I know medicine is put in place for a reason, but have you ever tried yoga/daily meditation. I don't do daily meditation now but think later in life I will and find doing yoga three to four times a week is the only way I maintain an even keel living in New York City with a roommate, a full time job and a part time writing gig.

Anyway, hope you get better.

Yoga and Meditation

Thank you very much for your comment Anonymous New-Yorker - it's always good to hear from our American friends :0) Yes, is the answer to both your questions. Interestingly though, I need to be stable enough to do my yoga exercises or to do my meditation. Once I am back on an even keel (I like your expression), then there is no doubt that both yoga and meditation help me stay there.  As things are today, the new medical 'cocktail' is working well and I feel much better so I have started doing my yoga and meditation again. You sound like a very busy person so I wish YOU the very best of health too.


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