Go….stop….pause…and go again.

So it has been a very long time since I blogged and I just don’t know why that is to be fair. Let me fill you in…

So the last time we spoke I had been a 2 dates and they weren’t going to be taken further, if I didn’t tell you that before well that’s some news for you, sorry to leave you hanging all this time. Dating took a back seat to be fair and I think that was a good choice as I decided to embark on a new adventure.

Go….So I have been at the mercy of public transport all my life near enough, never really learning to drive and to be fair that was mostly coming from a complete lack in interest in cars, driving and the whole costs and expense of it all. I have a free trains pass so that get to the places I need or want t get to so it’s always been fine. Add to that I have always had a fella that has had a car and driven me around to the places I have need to get to. As we know now this is at an end (I’ll come back to this).

So research time, what can I do, learn to drive a car, or something else. Is there a way I can be mobile at a much cheaper cost to my purse. Introducing Biker Si!

So I took my CBT within weeks of deciding this would be my course of actions. My reasoning being that bikes are cheaper, cost less to run, less to fuel and less to tax. The CBT I took over 2 days but this was not because of me, this was more to do with the person on the course with me lost the plot when we were out on the roads so we had to keep stopping. Trust me dear reader I made many mistakes, many a time I came to a stop on a cross junction and repeatedly stalled the bike. I even almost killed myself doing practice laps.

Needless to say having never driven in my life and it was all a lot to take in and get used to in such a short time frame. So next was the safety equipment. I researched and read all I could about the best and right gear that I could afford and plumped for leathers.

I think I look pretty good to be fair but fair more importantly I would be safe, well as safe and you can be. Fully lined with all the relevant protections. The helmet, boots and gloves followed. The next thing was to just go and buy the bike. I could only have a 125cc bike because I was on a provisional with only my CBT so far achieved. I decided to wait for the warmer weather of spring to take it further and gain my full licence and more powerful bike.

So with the bike bought (Yamaha YBR125) it came to the fateful day I had to pick it up. I was hoping for some clear skies and decent roads, I knew it would be cold but I couldn’t do much about that. The ex had offered to take me over and come back with me and keep behind me to stop any arsehole drivers killing me. So it began with a trip to the petrol station, £12 filled the tank. Woo Hoo! Of course the heavens open, rain, wind, hail, brimstone, it was like the apocalypse. Maybe I am exaggerating a little but trust me only a little. Apart from being in the outside lane of a dual carriageway doing 30 in a 60mph area and getting in the wrong lane on a few islands I survived the trip. I don’t think I have ever been so nervous about anything.

I was only more nervous about telling my Mum and Dad, my plan was just to ride over and surprise them and a couple of Thursdays ago that is just what I did. I battled through the rush hour traffic and pulled up on their drive in full gear. Knocked on the door and Dad opened, looking at me in full leathers deftly removing my helmet. I moved so he cold see the bike and he just laughed an called out “Marg” and the next thing mother is coming down the stairs saying that ‘it looked like Simon on that bike on the drive’. She saw me and for a second my heart stopped until a massively warm and proud smile crept across her face as she embraced me warmly and told me how proud she was of me. It was a great day.

So now I need to engage the flux capacitor.

Stop….pause….While all this was going on the ex had had a little bit of an episode and his head was pretty fucked. I am going to condense a huge amount of time into a short paragraph because I don’t want to dwell on it anymore. He basically was in turmoil and asked if I would consider trying again, to put back together our relationship. I told him, the new fella had to go, he need therapy and then we needed marriage guidance but I made it clear that I was 50/50 on the outcome and I don’t know if this was the right thing to do. So over the next 6 weeks I stopped and paused my life while we talked, spent time with each other and started to like each other again.

In the end it just wasn’t to be, we are 2 very different people from who we were 10 years earlier and we want very different things out of life. We vowed to stay very good friends, after all we still need to live together until I am in a position to be able to afford to move. Something I have been actively looking at for a few days now.

Go…again. So now I have my bike and freedom, I can live wherever I like now and I am not bound my location or trains etc. I am very proud of seeing if we can get together again, there was a lot of pain and we discussed it over and over again and maybe resolved somethings between us. He is still a good mate but he is no longer the man I will spend my life with. It is a tough thing to deal with but is very helpful with the closure and end that I need to start moving on.

And as if by magic this weekend just gone the universe placed someone on my path that made me feel good about myself. I may only have spent one night in a hotel room and I will never see the person again but I felt good, I felt attractive, I felt wanted and needed. I could lie on someone else’s chest and it didn’t feel like I was betraying anyone, I could be intimate with someone else in every way and not feel bad or awkward. It did me the world of good and felt the universe’s hand guiding me to that encounter. Right place and right time.

Now I start dating when the right opportunity arises. I make it all sound plain sailing and it is easy and I am happy. Far from it. I am making the best life I can with what I have. Do I get down, yes. Do I get lonely, painfully. Do I wish it was different, maybe but not as much. Life is scary and moving in to my own place as a single man is going to be really tough but I will do it and I will thrive.

See you all soon.

Si

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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

 

Are you OK?

Hi all,

Kind of said before that I wasn’t going to write a blog about mental health or rather my mental health issues. I am not sure I am the right person to do this although I do have my insights. I think there are people out there more able to put things across better than I can. That said I am going to say something because of what has been in the news this week in the UK.

So this week it has been discovered that our NHS (National Health Service) is not doing mental health care very well. Yes, tell me something I don’t know. I mean I have always been able to see a doctor and get the medication but that is the easy bit and my cases have always, in the big scheme of things, been easily treatable. However start talking about the talking therapies and doctors tend to clam up, no budget or long waiting lists being the usual excuses. I am very lucky that my employer will provide and has in the past counselling. I am lucky to have the support I have.

What I want to say in this blog is that we as a people, as society, can’t keep dumping things at the governments door, yes they are there to protect us and keep us well but there are so many pressures on the public purse, lets not get in tothe debate on wasteful government spending, we will be here all day. The point is still valid, we can’t just raise this with government and expect them to do all the work. We as a society have to play our part in mental health.

Let me put it a different way, if we saw someone in the street with a zimmer frame, a person in a wheelchair or someone with a white stick or guide dog, one would hope that humaity in us would spark up and compel us to help or at least see that they are OK as we pass by. We hear all the time about looking after our elderly neighbours during the cold months of the year, making sure they are OK and perhaps even getting shopping for them. I have been warmed to always see people help others out with people in wheelchairs, giving up seats for the elderly and helping blind people around. Even when seing someone is distress in the street offering them a tissue and asking, ‘Are you OK?’. In fact, those words are usually what go before people start helping, they say something similar, ‘Are you OK there?’, ‘Do you need some help?’ and so on.

Why is mental health any different? Before you all give me your answers let me say a few things. I know mental illness’s can be dam hard to spot and someone people may get defensive and maybe get annoyed that you asked this. I probably would have but I think if it came from a genuine place of concern and not of judgement than maybe people would open up and talk. I know this is not always easy but if we all, as a society, work together to make all the environments we work and exist in comfortable for people with mental illness then it can only be a good thing.

Are you OK?….The power of these three words or similar words can’t be underestimated. I will share this with you, many years ago, when I had my first breakdown I had return to work and wasn’t really listening to those around me and taking doctors advice. I went back to work too quickly and one day I was just not coping again, I was slipping or rather had slipped again. I was standing on the concourse at the station that I worked at and a manager I had worked with for a while came up to me and just asked, “Are you OK?”. I thought about it for a few seconds I could have just said no, I could have said I’m just tired. However in that moment I realised that she had seen something in me that I couldn’t see, I said ‘No’ and that was that, we talked I was sent home and I took more time off and truly got myself fixed. That simple question had saved me from a worse dip as my head was firmly in the sand.

I hope by now you have seen that I am no expert when it comes to mental health I have only got my own experiences to draw upon and I can only share those experiences. Maybe if you feel that you could ask this question and listen to what they may say then just consider the following.

Do it the right way,

  • Privately so they don’t feel pressured by crowds.
  • Do it for the right reason, make sure it is because you care about this person and you don’t just want a bit of gossip, if someone opens up to you and you don’t care and you go gossiping trust me you are doing more damage than you will ever know.
  • If you are not someone they will open up to or feel you are not the right person, tell someone you think they will trust, a friend of a friend or a sympathetic line manager.

Be brave, ask the question, you could be saving someones life.

Si

Day 1…..again!

Hi all,

It has been a while since I last jotted anything down to you all, apologies! I am currently in one of may favourite places at the moment to bring the old mac book and write and chill. In The Village Cafe in Codsall, where I hear you ask. Well, it’s not actually all that far from where I live but just far enough away to be almost in the country. Also it is where my counsellor lives, I discovered this cafe as the trains get here early and I have nearly an hour to wait. I have been trying to get back into writing and journalling and blogging so it seems to match up well. I like the environment and I can people watch and they make really nice breakfast rolls.

IMG_2275

So, some of you may have picked up on the fact that I am in Codsall to see a counsellor, why does Si need to see I hear you all ask. A well adjusted, conscientious thing like him will be all fine in the head case department? How far that is from the truth, no seriously and to save a very long story I had a break down at work that was bought on by my job and severe anxiety issues. I have had anxiety for a long time and it hasn’t gotten any better and neither have I at dealing with it to be honest, head in the sand sadly.

So after so rather scary events, walking around Wolves town centre not quite sure of why, where I was or what I was doing and had to be found by my husband and then after 3 days of not sleeping trying to get out the front door in my jim-jams at 3am in the morning and not haven’t the faintest idea of why I was doing ti or where I was going. To be honest it scared me a little. So after multiple trips to the doctor and some counselling sessions I am on the mend finally. I have been on a myriad of drugs, the ones that make you a zombie, the ones that make you feel drunk the whole time, the ones that are supposed to make you sleep and keep you awake all night. Then finally the good ones, the ones that level you out so life is manageable and the ones that sedate you so you can sleep at night!

So I am in a position now after the christmas madness that I can sit and take stock of where I am and where I am going next. I feel a lot more stable and level now and able to get out and about in the world and not feel scared of everything. There is still plenty I fear, more on that in another blog. I also am aware of what I need to do to make changes to my life, to make it more enjoyable, it currently isn’t in some aspects, to make my life more distracting, an essential for those with anxiety. I hope to be blogging about those in future blogs as I make a real effort to do more of the things that I enjoy and try to inject more fun and happiness in my life, writing is a big one, I love writing and I love my mac book so that seems to go together quite well.

So why the title, Day 1….again? Well some of it comes from the fact that this was my third break down and it feels like day 1 all over again of the mountain still to climb to get over it, I feel that base camp has been made and that the support structure is there but the climb is all on me.

It also pertains to giving up sugar….again. I gave up sugar last year in March I think and by September I had lost 1 and 3/4 stones and was mere pounds from my ideal, dream weight. Apart from the first few weeks of realising how much sugar is in the foods that I eat, a lot, and getting past the cravings for it nearly 24/7, after all sugar is more addictive that cocaine! Yes! So this time around it should be remarkably easy to be after all I know now what I didn’t now then, I know I can do it and I can do it well. All I need is will power and after I shovelled the last of the christmas chocolate down my throat I feel so sick of it so I am hoping that will help, it actual fact I am in this cafe that doubles as a high end bakery looking at delicious cakes and feel nauseous, a good sign!

I suppose that’s a little round up of where I am now, fucked in the head but getting better, had nearly 2 months of work and getting bored and starting to believe in the mantra, healthy body (no sugar/processed foods) healthy mind, goodbye anxiety/depression.

More soon!

 

 

 

 

Morning!

Good Morning!

Hope your all well. It’s a very bright Sunday morning, which is nice, we haven’t seen the sun in the UK for a few weeks just the rain. Hope to be going out for a walk later on to soak u up rays and charge up the vitamin D or is it vitamin B you get from sunlight? One or the other anyway. Lol

It has been a long week this week, considering I only work 4 days a week that’s slightly barmy. Maybe I should mention what I do for a living. Have worked for the same employer for just over 10 years. I won’t say who it is just in case I say the wrong thing on here and get myself into trouble. The company I work for is very protective of its reputation. To be honest I love working for them although do not like my current role but now am part of a trial for a new role that is going very well indeed. It’s all customer services based but I get to see and talk to our customers which I think makes a difference. Things are all set to change over the next few months, come August we will know the future of the companies ownership of us all and the place I work will be having a huge upgrade and that will change everything. I’m not good with change!

I did have a bit of a moment during the week and it made me think. People say that when you are down or in trouble you should ask for help. I agree with this totally but it made me think, what if you don’t like to ask, don’t know how to ask or don’t want to ask for help. With me it’s easy, my heart is on my sleaze and my friends usually can tell and vice versa. My Husband can be relied on to know with a subtle comment or two if he hasn’t already guessed. But what if you can’t see, how do you tell someone is in trouble? I recently did a course on suicides on the railway and it was a huge eye opener for me. Some people you can tell by the way they talk or act, some people you just can’t tell. What makes these people feel they can’t ask for help or display some kind of none verbal cry for help? I hope people will always be there for me and I hope I am always here for others.

Enough deep thought and gloom. His Lordship worked his way through a couple of bottles of wine last night so no doubt they’ll be slight hangover feelings today which of course will not be alcohol related at all and will be the result of the food that was eaten last night. Lol! A walk in the sun am sure will make him feel much better either that or he’ll crave carbs so the evil white loaf will make an appearance today! Lol

Hope you all have a good day!

Si