Destructive behaviour

I am in a bit of a….I don’t want to say bad place….but I am not happy. A lot has happened this last few days in some respects and yet nothing has happened in others and I am left drained, tired and feeling low.

Lets start at the beginning, so a friend had a breakdown in their relationship and I have been trying to help him as they literally have no one else to turn to. Considering it’s only been about 7-8 weeks since my own ended I must seem as someone that knows what they are doing….I don’t, I just doing the best I can. So me being me I have tried to do all I can to help them through it but it has been a struggle and a drain for me and it took a very serious turn for the worse the other night. Long story short we caught it just in time and I spent hours on the phone getting them to a stable place. It has had a cost on me, I’m shattered, not sleeping and restless thinking about my friend and if they are safe.

Now flip it over to me, it’s my long weekend away from work and I have tried to make plans to keep myself busy but I have struggled. I had one plan but it fell through as my friend wasn’t well. So I have spent 3 days so far with nothing to do, wandering around the shops, watching telly and eating. I have been on some of the gay dating apps, not for hook ups to be clear but to try and meet some new friends and find people to hang out with and go on cycles with etc. Some initial conversations have been had but nothing really set in stone. There was a bloke the other day that said he would go cycling and why don’t we met for a coffee and see where it goes. Well, he kept me waiting and waiting despite saying he wouldn’t be long and I, like a lemon just sat there waiting, well I thought I shouldn’t be holding my life up for others and I should just get on with it. In the end I never heard back from him and he never showed up, what’s with that?

So the destructive behaviour starts, I am so scared of being alone and lonely that I will do anything to avoid it, meeting people and end up letting them come over late in the night to have awful sex and feel crap about myself. I am worth more than this and I am just clinging on to the ego boost I am getting from someone that is showing some form of attraction to me.

I wake up in the morning and think to myself shall I take my self out for the day and do something, which fills me with dread as I will be on my own. I try and make a plan with friends but it’s usually too late so end up eating being miserable and look on the apps for some form of contact, friends or something else I know I will regret.

I know this is in contrast to my post of the other day about choices but that still stands and I still stand by it, I am just making bad choices at times and I am sure we all do that. I am still trying to be positive about everything but this, loneliness, it’s something I find so very hard. I want to be busy and keep my self going. Maybe this weekend I just felt drained emotionally and physically due to concern and worry about my friend. Maybe I am giving too much of myself to others and neglecting myself.

Any advice as ever is gratefully received.

Si

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Choices

Hi all, Hope you are well! 

It been a hard few weeks since my last post when I shared with you that my marriage/relationship had ended after 10 years. There have been some dark days there have been some good days but now sitting writing this I know what has been done and what is to come is for the greater good for both parties. 

I have been surrounded by the bestest of friends and some amazing people and it is really lovely just how many people have got your back. I have a great counsellor and we have been working on some of the stuff I am finding difficult. In one of our conversations I shared how I feeling about suicide. Some of you who have read my previous posts know I have had a chequered history with mental health. I won’t go into the full details of the conversation as somethings are always private. However she discussed with me that everyday I choose not to end my life and to keep on living and that is a very positive thing. It struck a chord in me and has been very empowering. 

So everyday I choose not to end my life, some of you may think that is nothing but it seriously is, everyday I decide that I do have something to live for, something that gets me out of bed, in the shower and off out into the world. There’s me saying wow with my heading spinning thinking about how positive I suddenly feel. The power of choice is not just limited to that. 

Everyday I choose not to wallow in self pity and fretting about the end of my relationship, I choose to to live the best life I can with new adventures, friends, fun and laughter. It’s is so empowering to think that you have this level of influence over your own life but of course you do. You can choose to do anything you put your mind to, a dream, a task, to change how you feel about something. Some days it’s gonna be hard, some days it takes every bit of energy I have to keep going but other days it is easy. Some days I may fail but I choose not to dwell on that and to keep pushing on regardless and just take it as a lesson learned. 

I have stated on new adventures and made some new friends, the future is what I make of it and I have that choice. Time to take control of things and make the most of whatever time I have and have a blast. Don’t under estimate the power of the choices you make 

Si

The end of something big and that start of something new. 

So I am going to come right out with it but I am not going to dwell on the in and outs of what has happened. It’s personal and something between the 2 people involved. So my 10 year relationship, 8 year marriage ended a few weeks back. No scandals or anything, no hate, just 2 people who have gone in different directions in life.  

That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with and cope with but it is what it is. To be honest I have been pretty devastated by it all. 

So the reason I chose to write about this today, after a few weeks of understandable depression and questioning everything about myself and the ‘What could I have done differently?’ and the ‘Am I such a fuck up that he doesn’t love me anymore?’ I need to start focusing on the future. It scares the fuck out of me to be honest, starting again at the age of 40 and the whole will I be loved again? Am I worthy of love? Can I make anything work properly? How do you live alone after 10 years being with someone else?

That’s the point I am at now, after 10 years of being a joint being, 2 people living one life, how do you separate yourself off, deal with the loss and find yourself. I know that’s a cliche but it is true, you do lose yourself. In 10 years you change naturally as a person, so when that other person who has changed along side you is no longer there how do you know who you have become. Time to find out. 

 I looked around the internet and came across a post on a website that I loved as soon as I read it, it is a challenge to me and a challenge I want and need to succeed in. I hope I am allowed to share the post on there as I think it is great, if not and I am breaking any rules please let me know and I will remove the link.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lamisha-serfwalls/7-tips-to-find-yourself-when-youre-feeling-lost_b_7514516.html
So I have set myself the challenge of writing and expanding on the 7 tips in my personal journal, I will share and general view with you when I have finished the 7 days. In the meantime, if you have any tips,  tricks and advice then please let me know. 

I am not the most spiritual of people but I know myself and can connect to myself, after 3 breakdowns and various anxiety issues I am good at knowing what it going on with me mentally and psychologically. I wanted to make this experience as positive as it can be and I want the finding myself to be an adventure, no expectations and no rules. I know that there are many more bad days to come, the first such as birthdays and anniversaries, which are all coming in one month in July. My friends and my self preservation will hopefully get me through it but I’m gonna let myself cry if I need to. 

Take care all of you! 

Open minds

Hi all,

It has been a while since my last post but I’m not going to apologise as it my prerogative!

I have been trying to get back to a healthy state of body, mind and soul recently. Primary aim is to be a little more healthy in body and hopefully mind and soul will follow, after all you are only as good as the fuel you put in and if I am totally honest a little (lot) of weight loss would be good as well!

So anyway i’m reading this book on quiting sugar, I have done this before with great success but am struggling now hence the book to try and help. It’s a good book to be fair and I know enough about psychology to know that I am being conditioned slightly as I read it but it has 10 rules to follow whilst trying to give up the evil nasty sugar. One of them is to have an open mind, this got me thinking about having an open mind and how easy or hard the actually is and if it is easy why don’t we have an open mind about pretty much everything.

So I can have an open mind about eating what is right and what is eat and not and to open my mind to the fact that sugar really is killing me despite all the evidence provided by the food industry and scientists but what about there things? Why are people closed minded? Is it to protect themselves from what they don’t understand, more than likely but isn’t it better all round if we open out minds all of the time to everything.

We could mention race, gender, sexual orientation, science, industry and well basically the universe. We limit ourselves when to close our minds to what is around us and what is possible by the people around us. For years and years women were thought of as emotional creatures who wouldn’t be able to coped with the world created by men, couldn’t be trusted to vote and yet after fight and struggle women can and do do all the jobs that men do and have all the equal rights that men do, well at least in my country. Then take race, people who were different from ourselves were also thought of as lesser people and so were not given the same right and privileges that are available to them today again in my country yet sadly not the world over. How stupid is this because of a biological difference we think people are lesser than others.

It can be hard to open our minds I suppose and let new and different facts in our minds, it must have been very hard to accept the world was not flat or that it wasn’t the centre of the universe when for years, at the time, we were told by those in positions of responsibility that we were the centre of the universe and any other thought was blasphemy or heresy which also brings religion into the fray. All of the wars in this world and its history because of differing views and interpretations on religions and God.

Imagine a world if we had had an open mind and accepted if not embraced other views, theories and interpretations of the above subject and many more. We don’t have adopt these beliefs  and theories ourselves if we feel that strongly but we don’t have to go around and destroy reputations, discredit others views and by far the worst, kill other for THEIR beliefs.

Imagine if I was alive in a society where I could’t accepted, take a few hundred years ago or maybe not even that far or maybe even a country that is in the here and now. A gay man, married to a gay man and an atheist and of course with, at times severe mental health issues. I suppose now I write it and think of it it would all have been put down to the mental health issue and I would have end up in the insane asylum and left to rot.

I can’t change the world and but I can change mine. Imagine how great our future would be if we all and I do mean all of us stopped and allowed that small clink of little into our minds. The light that could change how we see the world, accept the world and live within the world in peace and understanding. We don’t have to agree with everything that our neighbours do and believe but we can accept that they do and believe these things.

Of course as a responsible world we should help, support and stop wrong doing and assist those in trouble, this is in itself a whole other issue I won’t get into right now.

It can be a hard and scary place, the world, with lots of deferring views but how amazing is it that these views are here, challenging us and making us better societies and communities. Change is never easy on a small or big scale but what have we got to lose, we can still fall back to our original belief structure but for anyone who has had their minds blown (I think we all have in one way or another), what a great feeling it is to suddenly see more than you thought possible, that anything is possible and the universe is full of endless wonder and excitement.

Have a great day all!

Missing blog aka Holding on to Sanity!

I can now share the missing blog, for me this is a big deal but for others some it might not be anything big. As usual the Hubster was amazing and supportive and well just wonderful. Anyway blog as below….

Holding on to Sanity!

It occurred to me during a bad few days a few weeks ago that our or more specifically, my grip on Sanity is at times, is not the strongest. I’ll put it in some context.

One minute I am ok, get up to go to work and by the time I have got there I have sunk into a terrible mood. Not just a bad mood but I have dropped into very dark place, you will know what I am talking about if you have ever had a break down. In this place anything is possible, that expression might bring images of limitless possibilities and happiness to your imagination as per the conditioning of the media and society but I want you to think of the complete opposite.

It is not a good place, it is a place of darkness, the darkest darkness where there is no light, a place of despair and loss, loneliness and fear, it has no path and no clear means of escape. Dark, hurtful things lurk here in deepest corner of our minds a place where the most drastic courses of action grow from a small seed of despair and feed on the darkness leading to any number of possibilities. I know that sounds bleak and I’m am very sorry if it upsets anyone to think about it but it is a place of pure despair and panic. Now I was in that place and surrounded by work colleagues and having to carry on and do my job. Luckily it was busy enough to distract me from where my mind found itself but I was still stuck searching for a way out in the minutes between customers when it would go dark, a tear ever constant in the corner of my eye threatening to betray my inner thoughts to all that would be looking.

My colleagues were of course concerned and trying to cheer me up but they couldn’t really help, no one could break down the wall I had put up to protect myself from falling, which clearly wasn’t working. If I had talked about how I was truly feeling I would burden and shock them. I thought they would see me differently and maybe even judge me, think differently about me and I couldn’t handle that. All I could think about was getting to the end of my shift and getting home, my safe place where it would be ok to let myself just fall and no one would be put out by me.

Over recent months during these, thankfully rare occurrences, my thoughts have come to very dark thoughts. They may not be dark for some but our experiences are all relative, for me it was very worrying. I feel numb to everything and my thoughts keep going towards self harming and hurting myself (my god that was tougher to type than I thought). I don’t want anyone to worry I don’t mean the more extreme end of the that scale. I think that I need to feel something, anything, to cause myself some pain is somehow to prove that I am still capable of feeling something, anything. Or is it a cry for help? I can’t even describe it here right now typing this but in those minutes and hours it’s all that comes to my  mind, ‘cut yourself and you feel something’. I never understood self harming until recently.

I always advocate talking to people but just to contradict myself, I know it can really be difficult to start a conversation when you think you will scare the crap out of people. In the process of wanting to get help you worry about burdening them or maybe the judgements or an over reaction. My colleagues were really nice and kind, they could see I was struggling. Considering what I just said, would it be fair to burden them? I ended up just asking them to leave me alone and thanked them for their concern and they respected that. I just know that at that time a tap may have been opened that couldn’t or would have been difficult to close, I may have said something that I could never take back and be forever jaded in their view.

Going up!

Here’s the positive bit, I talked, after few hours and it wasn’t concerning the dark place I was in. It started with a text to Hubby telling him how I was feeling (in a dark place, that I’m not a nice person) in a basic way leaving out the details. He was as always amazing and said he would be waiting at home for me. I started the upward climb, there was a chink of light I could see. I started talking to my colleagues just about work and the day and the climb got easier as I was more distracted. I should have done it sooner? Would that have been possible considering where I was?

The afternoon after work was spent talking with Hubby, getting out into the sunshine with the addition of coffee and cake. The only negative is that I couldn’t tell him what was really in my mind, well at least at the time, it has all been brought up as I edit this for posting.

Talking again saves the day, maybe it isn’t always easy, maybe you need to wait or maybe the people around need to persevere but with extreme caution but it proved to me that there were many around me concerned, ready and willing to help and talk, to offer that shoulder.

The dark place comes with me always and it frightens the crap out of me, it frightens me how my grip on my sanity it so strong one minute and collapsing around me the next. How quickly you can descend into the chaos and despair but on the flip side how quickly with the right timing and people you can pull yourself out.

I don’t say this for sympathy but to educate and show that this is around you everyday. I am extremely lucky have such a strong support network and work place. Others may not, all I ask is that you keep an eye out for your colleagues, friend and family. If you don’t feel confident in approaching someone maybe talk to someone who is close to that person and say something to them, they  ay not have noticed what you have.

Talk, please talk! It does get better and there is help out there so please, talk!

Its been a year?!?

I knew it was coming, I had checked my diary and I wanted to mark the day, some might say that is a bit bonkers, why the hell would he want to mark the anniversary of that? Well, you might be right, you probably are given the stigma that’s attached but I am selfish so I am going to mark it.

It has been a year since I had my third breakdown. Some of you are probably asking yourself the question that I am always asking myself, ‘What am I not learning here?’, still it happened and I am still here to talking about it. By marking this day I don’t want it to be a moratorium of negativity but a celebration of success and passing on a few things that have helped me and maybe something to watch out for. I am not telling you this for sympathy or congratulations but to raise awareness of something that should no longer hide in the shadows and should be dealt with head on without stigma or shame.

After all depression and anxiety are biological chemical imbalances in the brain, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it is not there, just because it’s not wrapped up in a plaster caste as you would a broken bone doesn’t mean the person isn’t suffering.

As I mentioned this was my third breakdown or as some call it a break through and it was by far the most traumatising in some ways. There were days where I remembered the tips and tricks to help get me through it and deal with each day as it came but then there were days when I couldn’t even think straight and there are hours missing from my memory still. There were many challenges, getting to see a GP as I free falling into the depths of something I could no longer get myself out of but with an angry husband shouting causing a nuisance I got an emergency appointment at my GP. I was put on various drugs to get me to sleep which had become a major issue, drugs that made me dizzy and feel nauseous all the time. There was one instance where I literally couldn’t walk and had to get my hubby to come and rescue me as I had gone out to get some fresh air (going out everyday was one of my things that I did everyday).

Then came the disastrous early work medical, it’s a long story but it set me back weeks. Sleep was still a huge issues and we hadn’t really found drugs that were really helping me with sleep. I had a habit of wandering off and one day after some crossed words with Hubby I went for a walk but of course my mind poisoned my thoughts and I don’t remember much, I thought I was just wandering around for a bit thinking about what do to now but I had been missing a few hours and a search party had started, they found me, it’s a good job as I can remember I had decided to go away for a bit and I was heading for the train station (I had no change of clothes just a train pass and a few bags of shopping)

Sleeping pills did nothing and so I was left to it and one night after not sleeping for 3 days, it was about 3am and I was watching nonsense on the TV trying to sleep that I decided I was going outside to sit in the cold for a bit but Hubby had double bolted the door and he managed to grab before I got it unlocked where I had another breakdown and I can honestly sit here and say that I was losing my mind. I was taken to the doctors by Hubby and I know a conversation about me being a danger to myself was taking place and  sectioning mentioned. In all fairness my Hubby had been amazing but never forget the stresses that are put on your loved ones in these times of crisis. The doctor agreed to give me some Diazepam aka Valium and I slept for the next few nights and I can’t tell you how much it helped.

The recovery was straight forward after all this, we found the right drugs, work organised counselling and I was assigned an amazing counsellor who has helped me in so many ways. I have learned about myself, learned to value myself and learned to have fun again.

So I want to share so advice or tips with anyone reading or who may know someone who may need help.

First, talk, you need to talk and be honest, there will be people willing to listen, my counselling journey started on a free counselling service phone number the company provides us. There is always someone around who will listen, there are people out there that will surprise you, they may not know the answer but by just knowing that you are not alone can help.

Secondly, getting out of the house and sleeping. Get out of the house everyday even if it is just a walk around the park or high street, I went to the shops everyday or walked around the ring road, it stops you being a hermit. You don’t have to talk to anyone just get out. Sleep, I know this is easier said than done but practice the best sleep hygiene you can, getting out for a nice long walk helps make you physically tired.

Third, if you have had to take some time off, occupy that time, I did a few free online courses in creative writing (FutureLearn in the UK), it was also part of rediscovering the things I like doing and make me happy. It really worried me when my counsellor asked me, ‘What do you like doing for fun?’ and I couldn’t answer her. I would grab my laptop and go to a little cafe that did the best cakes in the Midlands and sit and write a blog or story. It has led me to studying psychology now.

These are just a few things that helped me but everyone is individual, some might work for you. You are not alone and never will be, called someone, anyone, they will help. The Samaritans in the UK is a great organisation and I know they can get you off the brink and start the journey to recover. There is no shame to mental health, go to your doctor and get the help you need.

Remember you are not alone and it DOES get better, I am living proof, with help I pulled myself back from the brink, I am stronger and happier and more at peace than I have ever been. You can do it to but it is so important to be honest with yourself.

I celebrate this last year, a year of struggle, tears and laughter, it had made me what I am. I know I keep saying it but it is true….

You are not alone, it DOES get better!

x