Posted in Feelings on a Friday, Mental Health Struggles, The MIGHTY Rosie

Feelings on a Friday “37”: Oh Look, a Clerks reference.

Hello internet people, long time no see.

I want to tell you all how well things are going and I want to be honest, can’t do both. It’s been a bit of a ropey few weeks and the need or desire to write had been almost nonexistent.

I don’t know whether or not it’s because I didn’t having anything to say, or just got out of the habit of putting words down, but I stopped doing this. The truth is, I have struggled a bit the last few weeks. Concerns over the MIGHTY Rosie (which I am not going to mention, it not being my tale to tell) and other stuff and it has left me fraught. Added to that Christmas is coming and I have SOOO far from ready for it. Plus there is the thing with the Sci-Fi convention.

<Deep Breath> On the 2nd am off to For the Love of Sci-Fi, a fan convention in Manchester. I am going with my awesome boy and the MIGHTY Rosie on one day and the plan was for a mate of mine to go the second. So then he busted his ankle. He was on the mend and the plan was on track, then a week or so ago, told me that he wasn’t going to be mobile and wouldn’t be able to go for the second day and in my own imitable style made some decisions based on the last minute panic and ended up with a hotel room that cost far too much and a lack of any real organisation over the whole thing has left it a bit of a fiasco. This I’d why by the way the MIGHTY Rosie has done most of our trip planning in the past.

Had it downgraded from a fiasco until the question was asked, what about the dog? So let’s just say I have not been at my best recently. It’s all been sorted and we are about to go to the convention, but my confidence and self esteem have taken a bit of a kicking.

I ended up getting some advice from my personal hero, the aforementioned MIGHTY Rosie. 

No one said it would be easy

There is no written word to say that life in any way shape or form would be easy. No promise of fairness and no reason to expect a smooth ride. I found that both reassuring and motivating. I find it so difficult being just a person in the world, never got the knack of it. I am riddled with doubts and anxieties. But here’s the thing, it’s OK.

It’s going to be okay. The weekend is more of a debacle than fiasco and we are better at plan b than ever with plan a. It’s going to be an adventure and something I wouldn’t have done a year ago. Everyone is looking forward to it, the dog is being looked after and I genuinely think that weekend is going to be fun.
Expect more posts, pictures from the con and at least one embarrassing story. I have weathered many storms before this and Christmas is coming. People tend to just feel a touch happier this time of year and a bit of happy is always welcome.

I’ll be back internet people, because things are about to turn around for me, mostly because I intend to make that happen. 2017 may have been a tumultuous year, but it’s going to have a triumphant December!

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Posted in Comics n Stuff, Mental Health Struggles

5 Comic characters I identify with

All of my heroes have been fictional. Religion has no value for me, institutions are often more corrupt and people in the real world will always let you down. For me the ideals and insights in fiction have offered me ideas, rather than things to believe in. Knowing that they are fiction was in reality comforting, you take your meaning as you want to. A book can’t let you down, a comic or a tv program can’t cause you to be disillusioned. I believe in the people around me and on the good days, myself, haven’t really needed anything more than that. Being able to be moved by music and identify with characters on the screen and page has been enough, beyond my loved ones that is.

As I have spent the last four or so years trying to understand the bats**t crazy elements of my personality, I have been looking at why I identify with certain characters, what that means about me and well hence this article. Now by this I mean specific characters, relating to specific personality traits/issues, so I don’t need to mention always identifying with the outsider/inhuman character. My status as a bit of a misfit is not really much of a mystery, nor in geekdom that unique a thing. But I found this thought interesting, so wanted to explore it.

Vance Astro: Finding purpose

Appearing in Marvel comics, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Vance Astro was an astronaut who sacrificed his entire life to visit another star system and further the human adventure by travelling to Alpha Centauri in a thousand year one way trip. Only to find out that 800 years before he arrived, Harkovian physics rendered his entire trip obsolete and humanity was already waiting for him. The image he had of himself and the purpose that he lived for were pointless. His entire life seemingly a waste. So he did, what any person would need to do, he started again. He found a purpose in freeing the worlds of the Sol system from the Badoon. It wasn’t quick, easy or all at once, but he began to live again. I find that aspirational, the idea of starting again and changing who you are to yourself and becoming something greater than who you were before. If it can be imagined, then it can be done, if it can be done, maybe I can do it?

Henry ‘Beast’ McCoy : Bad judgement and deflection.

Here one character meets two different thoughts. Dr Henry McCoy first appeared in X-Men 1 and was one of the original class of students of Charles Xavier. He is also the person who has made some fantastic blunders over the years. He quit the X-Men to become a professional wrestler, we were all young once, has been the victim of femme fatales so many times and in order to deal with some corporate espionage, actually mutated himself into some kind of were ape creature. Yeah, that wasn’t do to him, he did that to himself. When anti-mutant bigotry cost him a job opportunity, did he sue? No he stripped down to his undies and jumped out of the window like an azure gorilla. He then tried to be somewhat smarter for a long time and then because of an off-hand comment by his friend, decided to steal a time machine and bring his younger self and his classmates into their future/his present to PREVENT disaster. Yup that’s right, for what seemed to be laudable reasons, he tore open time and stole 5 people from the past, including himself to prove a point to one of his oldest friends. Now, who here can’t relate to making a few stupid decisions? He’s also good at deflecting, the affected intellectualism, where he’d use many long words, play up how smart he is, to keep people at arms length, or his constant light-hearted jokey replies to everyone, to make sure they don’t keep things too real. Even during his time on the Avengers and his ladies man antics are just more deflection from his problems. I also do that, preventing people from seeing who I really am.

Hank Pym: Self Esteem

I have, for as long as I can remember, suffered from low self esteem. I don’t think I would as far as calling it an inferiority complex, but I know full well that feeling of being less than. I did a long piece called In Defense of Hank Pym, here so will be brief about the specifics, but no matter how smart he was, or how hard he worked, in the original team of Avengers, he was the little guy. Think about it, the god of thunder, the human tank, the flying woman and a guy who’s power is to be small. Who’d want to be that one? There’s a reason that he was left out of the Avengers movie.

Cyclops: Repression

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Probably the first comic character I identified with, Cyclops was introverted, quiet and kept his feelings very much to himself. He was in love with a girl, but could never tell her how he felt. He was also skinny (as was I when younger) and wore glasses. As I got older and new writers took over, Cyclops was seen as more of a repressed character, who not only kept his feelings from other people, but also from himself. He closed himself off from the world and whenever he didn’t, it didn’t go well for him. A man who never really learned how to ‘people’, this is a feeling that I can understand completely and I was never brainwashed into a cult. Fortunately his being at times a shockingly bad human being and making at best questionable life choices keeps me from identifying too much.

The Thing: Depression 

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Ben Grimm is my spirit animal. In fact recently I considered him as part of my left arm cover tattoo. Like Vance Astro, my identification with him is aspirational. In mind’s eye, he is the battle with depression. Happy for a lot of his life, despite a harsh upbringing, Ben became the Thing, not through fault of his own, but as part of an accident partially caused by his best friend. None of this is his fault, but he bears the burden for it nonetheless. He still has his own voice, his own wants and needs, but is almost perpetually cut off from the world. He can’t feel things like he used to, feels at times like a monster and there is always this tinge of bitterness and melancholy. And yet, he battles for others, has the biggest of hearts and a stubborn refusal to surrender to either his own problems, or any opposing force.

5 ways to explain some of the s**t in my head, there you go, till next time internet people.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Thinking Thoughts on a Thursday

Thinking Thoughts on a Thursday 13:Winning? In general yes, today, no.

I am as of this writing, off my meds. I have been on some form of anti-depressant medication for 4 years, 7 months and 21 days.

For the first 3 years, I was on the wrong medication it turns out, I switched about 18 months ago, but by and large haven been taking pills for over 4 and a half years. Back in the summer, I came to the decision to come off them, feeling that they were no longer part of my recovery, but perhaps they had become an impediment to it. I decided to fix that by slowly weaning myself off them. For a period of 4 weeks, I went down to one every two days, for 4 weeks after that, it was one every three days, then twice and week and then for the last 4 weeks, one per week. Wednesday, was my last one. It’s been a long road internet people, but I am as of this writing no longer being treated medically. It’s a big step to take and I have taken it.

That’s my win for today (well Wednesday) and am glad of it.

The main problem now is that hard won victory hasn’t really changed anything.

I still battle depression and I don’t win every single day, a few days in a row where I haven’t won was noticed, sadly not by me. Kinda been letting the side down recently, not looking after myself as well as I should do, missing things and being less than present. Nothing earth shattering is it? Work stress and other shit getting to you to the extent that you’re not your best self for a bit? Thing is, I don’t have the luxury of doing that do I? I don’t have the freedom to let things go a little, but it’s only a hop skip and a jump to falling back into the places I’ve spent the last four years trying to escape. My health can suffer as can my relationship with the MIGHTY Rosie as well as other important stuff. Once again, how off my game was pointed out to me gently on Monday evening and significantly less gently Tuesday morning. (Totally justified both times, I’m not crying foul here, this was more of the MIGHTY Rosie having my back as she always has.) I’ve been as a result left reeling this last couple of days. In the past,  I would spend quite a while feeling shitty about myself. Oh don’t worry, I still fully intend to do that, but will also try to do better, to be more engaged, more focused and more even tempered. My son deserves better, the MIGHTY Rosie deserves better and am slowly coming to the conclusion that I deserve better too.

This is a blip, not a backslide, proof of this will be what I do next. I am off my meds, that was part of it, but I do have such a long way to go.

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill

 

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Thinking Thoughts on a Thursday

Thinking Thoughts on a Thursday 12: Short sharp kick to the head

Hello there internet people, been a while since I’ve written anything personal.

I felt bad about this for a brief time, because whenever I have written more personal stuff, the response has been universally positive and supportive. It took me a while to real

ise that the reason I hadn’t written for a while was simply things were going better.

Work isn’t as bad as it has been.

The house is better, started decorating in fact.

Gym stuff is going better.

Weightloss is up and down, but will get back to doing Slimming World Saturday eventually.

The big thing though, is that I have taken it upon myself to wean off my anti-depressants. After speaking to my doctor, I went to one every other day, months have passed and I am now on two per week, for another two weeks, when I go to one per week, then maybe none per week. It’s all been going really positively, have dealt with my son a little better, feel closer to him and have been more open when talking with the MIGHTY Rosie and we’re communicating better than we ever have before. It’s all been really positive.

You can see where this is going can’t you?

I was due for a blip. Yesterday, it all got on top of me, the stress of work, the negative feelings, the low moods and anxiety and it all sort of fell on top of me all at once. Spent most of the afternoon experiencing a stretched out 4 hours anxiety attack. I’ll be honest, not fun. When I got home, I wasn’t in the mood for doing pretty much anything, but had to make a couple of calls, one of them to the MIGHTY Rosie, so that was a positive. I needed a win. So I decided to move the bed around and sort out the headboard. On my own, a large bed and a less than stellar frame of mind.

If you guessed it went badly, well done. I ended up putting my foot through part of the bed. This didn’t help my mood as you can imagine. So the true depth and extent of my stupidity was point out by the MIGHTY Rosie and after getting help with the bedroom furniture, we got stuff done. Two pictures hung up, two shelves and finally got my bedside shelves back up and was able to put my collectables and knick-knacks up.

Even got the DC Hardbacks lined up again, which was nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall I left for therapy in a far more positive mindspace than I could have, enabling me to sift through the feelings of the day and start today more positively.

I can’t thank my wife enough, sometimes I need a kind word, a hug, some positivity, but sometimes I need a kick up the arse. She can do all these things, I call her the MIGHTY Rosie, I do this for a reason.

We are more than our battles, every bad day is just that A bad day. Her helping me realise that, got me through last night and that has got me through today so far.

Thanks for listening,

TTFN