Posted in Feelings on a Friday, Mental Health Struggles

Feelings on a Friday 35: Positive Steps

Hello again internet people.

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. I’ve shared stuff, but not written anything from me for a while.

I’d be lying if I said things had gone great. There’s been tensions, work’s been a nightmare and it’s all felt like it’s getting too much. Have had issues with anxiety, been feeling very down and to be honest unmotivated to do a lot of different things and that’s caused other problems. But here’s the thing of it. When you feel down, it’s very easy to fall into old habits of thinking and go through an old ‘script’ in your mind. There’s a voice, it’s always been there, a voice that is quiet when things are good and clear as day when it’s not. The voice that says “You are not good enough and don’t deserve the good in your life and it will be taken away.” It was upsetting to realise that voice was still very much present, though I don’t have to listen to it now do I?

Things seem to be clearing now, my mind more my own and this week have made got some shit done.

1: Spoke to the doctors, asked for a referral over something and also informed him that of my intention to come off my meds.

2: Took the first step, am reducing them by half for one month.

3: Got a workout routine from my second gym, which while doable is punishing to say the least.

4: Shared that workout with my trainer, who like it and then made sure I suffered for having done it the day before with his own routine.

5: Am going back to slimming world, kinda fell off that recently and am noticing that I have noticed some old cravings returning.

6: Am going to go and clear the backyard out, have been talking about it for a while, but there’s always something else to do isn’t there?

7: Time to start learning to drive, it’s just time to do it, rather than talk about it.

Overall it’s been a rough few weeks for reasons and other reasons and to be honest, there’s that whole when things calm down/start looking better, make these changes. But here’s the thing, that time is never going to happen is it? It’s been hard just doing day to day stuff and I’ve been feeling the weight of it recently. But when that happens, you have to plant your feet and move that weight and get one with your day, I have come a long way, I have further to go, but I have already come so far.

I always tell my son, the only time you fail, is when you give up. Everything else is a set-back.

Be back later internet people.

 

 

Posted in Feelings on a Friday, Mental Health Struggles

Feelings on a Friday 34: More messed up, because I am less messed up

Hello there internet people.

I’m not doing so well today, I am in no way in crisis, nor should anyone be worried. This isn’t a cry for help or anything, but this has been something of a week and it’s worth noting that.

Here’s the kicker, I’m not able to go into detail about why I am upset, or it’s origin. It’s not really solely my tale to tell and some stuff is just a little too close to home to put here. Those who’ve commented and such has shown that you are compassionate and reasonable people, so I am sure that you can understand. It’s the emotional pain itself that has really become the focus.

I am not okay, but that in itself is okay. For a long time in my life, I put pain in a box and hid it away in order to function. I was often unhappy and at times angry, but the sheer weight of the pain was displaced and so it never really hit me as things should. I have spent the last several years trying to change that. To a significant extent I have done that, because I can’t put the pain away anymore. Shit bothers me like it never did before, I am made sad by things more easily and more sad as a result. The wall of dis-association that acted as my armour for many years is gone and that leaves me vulnerable. I don’t like feeling vulnerable.

But lets look at it another way, this is a positive step forward. A great unanswered question was answered and an elephant in the room exorcised. 6 Months ago this would have been a crisis, a risk of backsliding further into depression and being more withdrawn. But I am not, I feel this and I am glad I do. I’m not doing this alone, have a friend I can talk to from time to time, my trainer (the Fabulous Alistair) my wife (the MIGHTY Rosie) as well as a therapist who told me that I stay with her, when not in session and has offered a lot of encouragement in this more recent journey.

I am not okay, but that in itself is a sign of being more okay. What I feel right now will pass, regular life with appear more regular soon enough, but knowing that I am not alone and am stronger than I may have thought is comforting in a time when I need comforting.

That’s pretty much it, but I just want to add, to anyone who reads this, thank you. I mean that, knowing that my words have any kind of audience, even just one person, means something to me.

Also, the weekend I helped put up over 20 pictures in the hallway, all mementos from the last 10 years. It was a lovely reminder that there’s always been a lot more good than bad. Bad makes a splash, causes problems, but it’s the every day good that really matters, if you add up all the tiny positives in your day and look at the negatives, the positives will be more, but we often don’t see it. Sometimes it’s better than we think it is.

Bye for now internet people I’m going to try and get to 5pm and get my weekend on!

Posted in Feelings on a Friday, Mental Health Struggles

Feelings on a Friday 33: The illusion of a functioning person

Hi there internet people.

It’s been a couple of rough weeks, it’s been a fortnight of despondency, struggle and fatigue for a dozen reasons wrapped up in things going badly. But as I write this (mainly because I am actually writing this) I realise that this fortnight is over and things are looking better. They’re not better, but they look it.

Some stuff came up in therapy this week, it was brought up by the MIGHTY Rosie and was in my mind as I went to therapy and it was the main thing on my mind, so it became the main topic of conversation. There’s details in this, which I am at present not willing to discuss, but in the end it seems like I haven’t really been doing feelings very well.

It’s a weird thing to say. I understand happy, sad, angry (no fucking question there) frustration (the millstone around my neck in more than one way) and so on, but the question became, do I experience them fully? Do I use them correctly? Can I express them well enough to be understood? I used to believe the answer was yes to all three. But I now realise that’s not really the case.

That realisation is both wonderful and horrifying in equal measure. I don’t like the intimation that I can’t fully embrace the human experience in a way I always assumed that I could. But then again, have I not always felt slightly out of place? A misfit? The outsider? Doesn’t that make a lot of sense there?

This may sound sad, like a man realising he is broken. But it’s not. For years I was approximating the stuff I should be living and repressing the rest, but now I realise what I have been doing, it just becomes another thing to change. In the last few years, I have learned despair, misery, fear, but also confidence, empathy and pride. This isn’t the story of my failure, though I know that it’s being written like that. It’s the story of my realisation that I have more to learn, new battles to fight and a new goal to aim for. This is not the story of my failure, far from it.

There’s a quote attributed to Winston Churchill about the second world war that this brings to mind.

“This is not the end, not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Time to be a functioning person, rather than the illusion of one.

This is the story of my victory.

Posted in Feelings on a Friday, Mental Health Struggles

Feelings on a Friday 32: #&@?!!!!!

I would love to say it’s been a good week.

I would also love to be honest.

I can’t do both.

I’ve struggled this week internet people, after an amazing Saturday with the MIGHTY Rosie, it didn’t take long for disrupted sleep, family emergencies and the stress of work to turn my smile upside down back to a  frown. Have been low for most of this week and stuff has been getting to me.

But, and there is always a but. I am moving forward. After a day of holding my tongue at work, this morning I  had a conversation with ‘gisele’ in work and pointed out that a couple of times yesterday, I tried to talk to had my throat jumped down. I didn’t bicker, wasn’t hostile, but I clearly got my point across. Feel better for that and with a comprehensive list of what was outstanding and a more relaxed situation regarding deadlines, I have been hard at it today and am making progress.

Making progress, maybe I should wear that like a badge. Because I am trying, life isn’t much easier, but I am moving forward. To be honest, it feels like it’s not good enough, or more accurately, it feels like I should be further along. I can be a bit OCD (a bit, I am not minimising the effect that obssessive compulsive disorder can have on someone) and that comes with that child-like need to have every neat and tidy and have a clear point where you can say, I am sorted. But that’s very child-state mentality there isn’t it? We’re never done, we are always in a state of becoming. There isn’t a place that I will get to and say, I’m fixed, or I’m healthy. I don’t see that as realistic, but as I walk through this life on my journey, on a more positive path, I can say that even though it hasn’t felt like it this week, I am further along than I have been. We think of these journey as linear things in a straight line, but we’re organic and irrational beings, recovery, integration and positive changes aren’t going to progress mathematically are they? Sometimes we feel that we’re not making progress, that we are in some ways going backwards, but we are not. Whatever pain we are in, is part of that process and we need to move forward. As a reassuring thing, when someone is going through stuff, I often say it’s OK, as in it’s OK that you’re feeling like this sort of thing. I suppose because it’s an easy word to find, since it has little intrinsic meaning. It’s not OK, but it is temporary, like most pain.

I suppose what I am saying is that it’s not been a good week, but you know what? That doesn’t mean it’s not a good life. We are stronger than the pain we feel, than the obstacles within our own minds and stronger than the things that oppose us. If you are struggling, remember this, the word is struggling. We are still becoming, we are not broken. We have never been broken, because broken people aren’t still fighting. If you are battling your demons, then that is what you are doing. Boxers in the ring, we may not take the title, but we won’t go down till the bell rings in the last round.

We are not broken.

We are survivors.

We are more than the evils that beset us, we can and we will stand.

 

Posted in Feelings on a Friday

Feelings on a Friday 31: Positivity

Hello internet people, it’s been a week.

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday all having moments with awkward and yet necessary conversations. I won’t lie, was unpleasant. But things that needed to be said by my trainer, my therapist and the MIGHTY Rosie, who I realise I don’t always communicate with enough.

I had a gym assessment last night, finding out that I have lost an inch off my chest, waist, belly, arms and legs. I even had a body fat test (again, unpleasant) but now I can see I have 6% of my body fat, putting me in a still too much, but still much healthier category. My son was in a school play yesterday, which I enjoyed, he was so frightened of being on stage, but you know he belongs there. Work is not so bad at the moment, mostly because one of my co-workers (I refer to her as Giselle for a reason of making the MIGHTY Rosie giggle) has been treating me more like I’m in the trenches rather than an opponent and that has made the atmosphere a little better, or maybe I’m reacting to her better and there’s less tension, or maybe a mix of the two. It doesn’t matter, what does is that it’s the weekend and positives are preparing to be found.

Before I go (I know, blissfully short this one) I have to say that if there is someone in your life, who loves you, respect that, tell them often and show them often that you love them too. There is no truth that goes without saying, no positive that needs to be kept to yourself. The words we don’t say hurt so much more than the ones we do. Those who love us deserve to know our thoughts.

To the MIGHTY Rosie, I love you, you remain my north star and the way home.

Posted in Feelings on a Friday

Feelings on a Friday 30: No one is giving points for neatness

Hello internet people, this is going to get a bit personal.

Not been using this blog too much the last couple of weeks, haven’t really known what to say, so it’s felt that it’s better to say nothing. WRONG! Not talking only causes more problems.

I keep too much inside, I realise that. This past week has been something of a roller coaster. There was some family friction of Wednesday night (22nd) and I spiralled quite sharply. I am nostalgic for a lot of things, but I’ll be honest, the early days of my breakdown are not amongst them. I hit the gym and talked with my trainer and some perspective came. The weekend was also fraught, but after a long and emotional conversation with the MIGHTY Rosie, it came out that I have something holding back my recovery. Medication. It was the first part of my recovery, it came before everything else that I know have and I’m used to taking it, it’s not a thing that crosses my mind too often. But after being on the wrong pills for 3 years and being on pills I’m not 100% sure I need since, it’s become a question of what good they are doing for me, against what side effects they are causing. Is the lack of panic and obsessive thoughts worth the general numbness? (*salutes* General Numbness!) and since the tablets I am on can’t actually alter my thoughts, what are they doing? So really it’s about being so scared of the obsessive thoughts and fears of death and the like, that I have avoided even considering stopping taking the pills.

So you see the dilemma, being off the tablets is the gold ring for where I am in life, but I am so scared of what will happen without them, I haven’t put thought into doing that. So what I did was talk to the MIGHTY Rosie, talk to my therapist and think about it myself and I am going to work on my obsessive tendencies and unhelpful thoughts in therapy for a couple of weeks and then go to the doctors and tell them, not ask them, tell them that I want to reduce my tablets with the goal of cutting them out all together. I don’t mind telling you internet people, I am afraid. I suffer depression and anxiety, scared is not hard to get to. But then again, the tablets and the thoughts being there, they are an obstacle to overcome, an opponent to be beaten. This is no longer a storm to endure, but a battle to fight. I like that a lot better. I have people in my corner and I am now determined to move this forward.

This is a scary process, a long process, but I am confident that it’s one I can get through. My self hatred is strong, my overthinking is strong, but my stubborness, my spite? They are Mighty!

In other news….. I have finally killed my twitter account. While I have promoted this blog on it, I’m getting nothing out of it, so there’s no reason to keep something trivial that fails to bring me any happy. I have also stripped down one of my alternate blogs https://liverpoolmunky76.wordpress.com so that I am no longer sharing these posts there. Since I have the need to write pointless stuff, I have realised that most of my favourite comics/stories/characters etc seem to have their genesis in the 1990’s, I have started another blog http://90scomicsforever.blogspot.co.uk/ where I can talk about them, rather than here.

I don’t have too much else to say, but I will be saying more stuff, putting words to paper have helped me so much this last few years, I need to keep doing it, feeling it or otherwise, so expect more random and incoherent mess soon.

 

As always thanks to the MIGHTY Rosie, who keeps me on the path and anyone who reads this.

 

Posted in Feelings on a Friday

Feelings on a Friday 29 – Resolve

Hey there internet people.

It’s been a struggle the last few weeks, not done as great as I would like in a number of areas, but I’m not going to complain today. That’s not what today is about.

After a bit of dry spell, I have done a number of posts this week on one of Munky on Merseyside’s sister blogs My Marvel Life. https://marvelmunky76.wordpress.com I’ve been enjoying the writing process again and knocking a few posts out has been a positive. Positive is where I want to stay.

So here are some positives and some resolutions.

Positive 1: I have allowed my trainer (Ali Fraser of Lewis Bailey Fitness) to use pictures of me to show my progress on social media. While this is no big thing for most people, it is a deal for me, I hate people seeing me, mainly because I so often hate what it is they see. This was a step forward in how I view myself..

Resolution 1: To put more into the training, try more things and work even harder, feel so good after my session yesterday and want more.

Positive 2: The pictures themselves are something to look at for me too. I keep hearing how I look different then even 3 months ago. Last night, I saw what I looked like 5 months ago to now. I see it now, it’s very different and for the first time, the FIRST time in a long while, I looked at the old pictures from a look how well I have done, rather than a look at the fucking state of that fat bastard at the old pics.

Resolution 2: Keep at the weight loss. I have found a meal I want to try tomorrow night for tea. Cooking from a receipe is not a skill I possess, but I’m eager for the challenge.

Positive 3: The weather is changing, warmer, brighter. This can only be considered a good thing.

Resolution 3: Do more outdoors stuff, get out into the world more, not for my boy, but for me.

Positive 4: My 6 year old nephew Leo is taking the 3 peak challenge (to climb Scaffel Pike, Snowdon and Ben Nevis before he is 7 in November) one is already done, local press have interviewed him, am proud of the little fella.

Resolution 4: Have put a sponsor form in work for him and there’s a link here for anyone else to have a peep at. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/heather-carman-1?utm_term=52bvKNwQP

Positive 5: At my therapy session, was given two pieces of advice. i) Cut yourself some slack. ii) Try to look at the world with more a sense of wonder, as children do. Instead of looking at what you should do, just see more of a what can I do? What is possible?

Resolution 5: Wonder more.

As always I am here through the love and support of my son, the irrepressible Sam and the MIGHTY Rosie.

Ttfn internet people, go be positive.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Feelings on a Friday

Feelings on a Friday 28: Random Thoughts n S**t

It’s been a week internet people.

I’m tired, worn down and fed up.

It’s easy to feel down at a time like this, when the world is at it’s own throat, when the newspapers are full of misery and Winter is taking it’s sweet-ass time to leave. It’s easy to feel down.

Thankfully, I have a reputation of never doing things the easy way. So I will continue to find the positives.

1: Friday is here and I am still eager for the weekend.

2: I am 12lb from my next weight-loss target and some of my clothes are now too big.

3: I feel I am making progress, making peace with some of the shit in my head and coping with it better when I can’t. Most days it’s a battle, the good days are the ones where I am winning it.

4: I have got either Crocodile or Kangaroo burgers for tea tonight.

5: After listening to the excellent Stacey’s Pop Culture Parlour podcast, was led to the hilarious radio show Ray Gunn & Starburst, which is a lot of fun.

6: I have a wife who loves me, a son who adores me and the growing feeling that I am good enough for them, or at least, I can be.

7: Got a comedy gig to look forward to this month, this is a bonus.

I usually say find your 5 as a way of keeping my spirits up. I found 7 easily.

I think I am doing ok.

The battle is not won, maybe it’s a Superman thing, a never-ending battle.

If you are struggling, keep going, every now and again, pushing forward in the dark, you get to see the sun.

Metaphorically like, its miserable weather here today, ah well it’s England, summer falls on a Thursday.

Stay strong internet people, believe in yourselves. We have accomplished miracles just getting here.

Links

Stacey’s Pop Culture Parlour can be found here

http://popcultureparlour.podbean.com
The Ray Gunn and Starburst podcast can be found here

https://raygunnandstarburst.wordpress.com

Posted in Feelings on a Friday

Feelings on a Friday 27: Positivity is Exhausting

Hello there internet people.

Forgive my absence, beyond my usual weightloss posts. I have been neglecting this blog somewhat recently, unsure what to write about or say. I suppose I still not sure.

So here are some random ramblings.

Work is work, stressful and frustrating, but ultimately, things seem to be going well. My gym sessions are going full pelt as well. Started bench-pressing again after a gap of over 12  years. I’m even begun to enjoy my weekly therapy sessions. It’s amazing when you have people on your side. Speaking of people on my side, after an overnight stay at his grandmother’s my son came home last night, it’s weird when he’s away mid-week, missed him terribly. Last night he told me that I was the perfect dad. I had to fight that instinct to tell him he’s wrong, but I was too busy tearing up. The moments between him, me and the MIGHTY Rosie are the ones that make all the other things in my life make sense. It’s hard sometimes to articulate how much I love them. We need new words for it I think.

I’m trying to stay positive in the mornings, shit that’s hard. As exhausting as my daily battles within my head can be, the being positive thing is a little bit harder. But then again, I have always been a person who likes to make things harder for myself. So positive is what I am aiming for each day. Some days are harder than others.

This week has seen more time for me and the MIGHTY Rosie to spend together, which has helped us feel closer and close the distance we felt a few weeks ago, I am reminded daily of how lucky I am to have found and won her heart in this world. She remains the best part of me.

Also there’s been a lot of decent stuff to enjoy entertainment wise. I am still enjoying the shit out of DC’s Rebirth, with Superman, Action Comics and Wonder Woman nailing it week after week. I have watched the first 3 Sharknado films at the recommendation of a mate. I don’t know if I should thank him, or seek revenge. They are simultaneously great fun and so very terribly made films. You enjoy them, but don’t think too well of yourself for doing so. Went to see the Lego Batman film with said mate and enjoyed that tremendously. Whilst not a Batman fan as such, Will Arnett is always worth watching, even if it’s only voice over stuff, the cast is great and there’s loads of fun stuff in that film. TV wise we are clearing some of the recent TV we’ve been avoiding and had lots of fun doing that. Whilst Netflix’s Van Helsing has ended on a damp squib finale that anyone could see coming, Lucifer ended it’s run with panache. Have been catching up with season 2 of Dark Matter which has drew me in as well as it did the first time, but it’s bleak. The MIGHTY Rosie referred to it as a greek tragedy. But the new TV program of choice is the remake of the Richard Dean Anderson vehicle MacGuyver.

Yeah, that’s right, they remade MacGuyver

But it was something that I haven’t seen in a while, fun. Lucas Till (I know, I had to look him up too) takes the lead, with George Eads (from CSI) as Jack. Till has a degree of charm and Eads is having a ball playing Jack and it’s a really entertaining series that follows the same unarmed genius solving problems formula, but updates it a little. Really entertaining series that I’m going to keep up with.

So that’s it for now at least, positive ramblings over for now.

I am climbing this mountain, because I can. I have been shown I can believe in myself.

When we believe in ourselves, we are capable of so much more.

You have survived everything up till now. You are still here, despite your battles.

Your greatest victory is ahead of you.

Posted in Feelings on a Friday

Feelings on a Friday 26: Mixed reflections

It’s been a weird week.

I’ve finished my writing course and I feel quite melancholic about the whole thing. I got to know people I would have otherwise never met and now that’s done. I don’t know what to do with that. I’ll still keep in touch with them, but it’s still a little sad.

Work has finished being enjoyable since I got back after New Year’s, so there’s that too, but I can keep that in perspective, since I am 4 hours from the weekend.

Also today is the inauguration of the 45th US President. I want to say something pithy, or reassuring or something like that, but that’s not there right now. I’m concerned for everyone in the country who isn’t an affluent white man, because I think there’s good reasons. I’m not interested in the politics of the Donald, that doesn’t interest me quite so much. There have been right wing types in charge before and while not the best thing in the world, hardly the end of it either. I fear for the world when the leader of one it’s most influential nations is to be honest a lecherous and dishonest TV personality who throws tantrums on twitter based on nothing beyond criticism. If you can’t handle criticism before you take the job, this is going to be a rough 4 years.

It’s not a great place at the start of the year. We have a US about to go into one meltdown or another, we have a UK government as uncaring and out of touch as anything we had under Thatcher, a Russia that feels it can interfere with international politics with inpunity, because it looks like it just did regarding the US election and we also have an EU ready to kick the UK to the kerb in an embarrassingly handled leaving of the EU. The future is looking grim, the next few years seem fraut with peril.

My point? Not for the first time. Europe has been in one tension or another for a hell of a long time. Fascists appear whenever there is conflict for them to use and rich fuckers have always and I mean always done whatever they can get away with to those ‘below’ them. But remember this, we are raising a generation that are so used to global communication and community, who can see all our mistakes as they go along. We have faced global war and global disaster before and yet… we are still alive. The last 4 years have not been so great for me, but I am getting better all the time and while it’s easier to say the world is getting worse, that’s only how it looks now. The darkest moments always seem dark, until the light returns and sooner or later it will.

We need to be make better choices, wiser choices and choices made on hope and the future, rather than fear and the past.

Hope and the Future.

They still exist you know.