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 Mental Health Struggles, Slimming World Saturday

Slimming World Saturday 15: Phoenix Rising

After the disappointment of last week, me and the MIGHTY Rosie got back on track and ate better and this week it paid off. The 2.5lbs I put on has gone and took another 2 with it. Yup, that’s right 4.5 off in a week.

Am I pleased? Damn right I am, but now is the time to keep this going, one gain was enough, only success will do.

The MIGHTY Rosie also lost 4.5, so wear both doing well.

 

Posted in Mental Health Struggles

You can’t always see it.

As some of you know, I have been charting my weight loss progress. As part of an overall wellness programme I also am doing a personal gym session once a week. Part of this is a monthly assessment, during one last year I had photos taken and three weeks ago I did it again to see the progress I had made. I didn’t like having them taken, for many reasons, but after seeing both together​, I can see the change in me the last three months.
Advisory: These pictures are not for the faint of heart.

May not be an oil painting now, but I was amazed by the dramatic change.

Imagine the difference in the next three months.

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous College Writing Part 2

I was given

They said she was wild, like lightning in a bottle..

Then I got 6 minutes…

Wild, a bird on fire.

They said she was wild, like lightning in a bottle, I can see why.

I’m watching her from the bar, this girl I was told about. I get a text from Barry, telling me her name is Gemma. I walk over to her, she isn’t dancing, but her body sways to the music. She hasn’t seen me, not that I am one to notice. My shoes squeak as I walk, unheard by anyone else, but deafening to me. The only sound louder is my heartbeat. Two more steps and my palms begin to sweat. I’ve come in here a couple of times this week now, if she sees me she’ll think I’ve been doing this to watch her. I have, but I don’t want her to know that. Two more steps and my mouth is dry. I’m beginning to panic. this is a panic attack. I’m having a panic attack! I stop, I take my phone out as if I received a message. My head slows, I#m under control, I probably over-reacted. I take a few more steps, she’s even more beautiful up close, she’s dancing now, furious and passionate. Sweat clings to her and her joy is obvious. I’m almost there.

I can’t do this, I run to the toilets, cold water on my face, almost throwing up. I step out. She’s still there, so beautiful and happy. On her shoulder I can see a tattoo of a bird on fire, that’s her in a nutshell. Me? I’m a guy trying to leave a bar without being seen.

I’ll try again tomorrow, 5th time’s the charm right?

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous College Writing Part 1

I was given this line

Of course I believe in Father Christmas.

and then 6 minutes…

this is what I came up with.

 

“Of course I believe in Father Christmas.” He said adamantly. “Otherwise who delivers the presents the elves make?”

She was stunned by this reply. This was a full grown, working man, all suited and buttoned down, passionately affirming the existence of Santa. “You realise he isn’t real right?”
“And you know that for a fact do you? You can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt?”
“No, of course not. But every grown up knows that.”

“Yet every child knows that to be false, don’t they?”
She stared at him, before it was disbelief, this gave way to amusement, but know she was annoyed. “The toys were from your parents, you have to know that.”
“Some of them were, I’m not stupid! Only some of them were from Father Christmas. How else can you explain wealthier kids getting more toys?” She sat back further into her chair, exasperated.

This had been the weirdest first date she had ever been on.

Posted in Mental Health Struggles

And for now … I am outta here

Christmas is coming, work is coming to an end, so I am going to take a couple of weeks off from the blog. Family time means more to me than anything and if I am not working, I am doing that, will be back in two weeks and will be around.

Till then to all those who liked, commented and read from this (or the other) blog in 2016 thank you. Your support has been so welcome and has been one of the brighter points of this year. We are all part of this wonderful world and it’s just us making it wonderful.

I’ll finish with this quote which kinda summed up how I’m trying to feel.

In the end, it’ll be OK, if it’s not OK, then it’s not the end.

Merry Christmas people, or happy whatever holiday you wish to celebrate. This year did not win, next year, we will.