The Mountain

So last week Sunday I climbed a mountain, Snowdon in Wales to be exact but it was so much more than just a mountain.

Don’t get me wrong it was fucking big mountain, 1085 metres of mountain and it was no easy task but I had my gear and my mate Twinny with me and we supported each other.

It starts with a steep tarmac road and that along knackers you out and it’s the first 15 minutes. A path then stretches far into the distance up the valley leading to a steep stone path that passes under the railway line and up and even more steeper and stoney path. This was by far the hardest physical bit but we pushed ourselves and got to the top. Sadly the clouds had come down and we walk across the top to the summit in mist and fog and bloody hell was it cold.

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We reached the summit in 2 hours and 45 minutes, 15 minutes faster than what Google had said so woo hoo!

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Half an hour break up the top to have a bite to eat. I thought better to carb loads so cheese and ham roll and flapjack, Twinny a Feta cheese salad and fruit. It made me laugh all that way and still on his diet.

The biggest challenge for me was walking down the dam thing, hard on the legs the steep bits were really hard on the knees and ankles. This is were the mental challenge comes in, not on the steep bits but the path back across the valley, you can see it reaching all the way back to Llanberis in the distance with it’s beautiful lake. The drive to push aching and painful muscles down that long winding path knowing exactly how far you have to go before you can rest is a killer. If you couldn’t see the path it would be easier as you just would keep going in ignorance and bliss.

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We made it back in 2 hour and 45 monies and I was pleased to be back on the flat and stable road of Llanberis. My muscles took days to recover but my god I climbed a fucking mountain, I did it. I was so very proud of myself for that.

But….

It was so much more than a mountain, I wasn’t coming off that mountain without finishing it, I think I would have died inside if I had come off that mountain without getting to the summit. Failure wasn’t an option. Why? This was the first test of a new life.

Since I split from my ex and he moved on a break neck speed into another relationship I have been left in pain and struggling to find me again. Who am I? What do I like? What is fun for me? I kind of went back to basics and I always remember that when I was a kid, when we would go places on holidays and days out, if me and Dad saw a mountain we would have to go and climb it just to see what was at the top of it. So I thought let’s go and climb Snowdon! It is closet to where I live and a friend wanted to do it as well, perfect so let’s go do it.

I put a lot on to this climb, testing a friendship with Twinny, we had never spent so long together and full 12 hours in the end and we didn’t shut up once. There was also the thought that if I can get my fat ass up and mountain and push myself on and up when I am relatively unfit and inexperienced I can do anything. I know that sounds so stupid and dumb but it has had significance to me. I literally thought if I can do this then I can do anything I put my mind to. I can get my head round having to live alone again, to have to find a new life and a new path to walk.

More mountains? For sure, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis to go.

There are so many more challenges to come, divorce, selling and moving out of our home and starting again from scratch at 40. You might even be saying, ‘you don’t need to climb a mountain to do that you just need to man up’ and you are more than likely right. However, you know what, I did have to prove it, I needed to prove to myself that I can do these things, that nothing can stop me, I have the strength to push myself and I can achieve great things.

The week after the mountain has been crap and I ended up at work crying my eyes out thinking about all the crap that is still yet to come. I could sit here and go on and on about all the stuff in my mind, not wanting to leave my home or change my life, or thinking why can’t I just find another bloke like the ex did and then it will all be OK. Maybe that’s another blog for another day.

Today I wanted to reflect on the achievement of climbing a physical and mental mountain as I haven’t given myself much credit for it. I want to stick two fingers up at my self doubt and all those that doubt me, that hurt me and that have chosen to leave my path whether or good terms and bad. I can do this, I can climb mountains and fucking big ones at that. So I will sit here and finish this blog wth a smile on my face and a massive sense of achievement and promise that when the going gets tough I will picture myself at the summit, in the middle of the wind and rain knowing that I beat it.

Si

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The beginning of the end.

So it's been a while since I blogged and I feel that a lot has happened and I have had some set backs but also made some progress, well enough to warrant me rambling on again.

So a few weeks ago it was mine and the ex's 40th Birthday celebration. It was a joint do as we are both 40 within a week of each other. As we had split up I decided not to go especially as the ex was taking his new fella. Some of you are probably thinking that's a bit insensitive, some of you are probably thinking the party should have been cancelled and if he still wanted a party he should have made alternate arrangements. The ex thinks practically and not emotionally so didn't see the emotional attachment to that day and evening for me. The feeling was I was lifted out of the evening and my replacement was parachuted in.

To be fair I knew this was gonna happen and maybe I should have been insistent that the night be cancelled. I'll take my part in that.

That day I was at work in the morning and had planned to go to the cinema and have some food in the evening with a friend. Sadly that friend cancelled without really telling me seeing her do something else with someone else on Facebook and it pretty much threw me into an angry state of being. It had been pretty much brewing for a few days and this was just the beginning of the spiral and into anger and maybe not expressing as best as I could but my god it had to come out of me, there was no way I was going to internalise it.

So via a text message conversation about which cinema I was going to so the ex and the replacement didn't go to the same one. I told him my plans had been cancelled and long story short he said I could join them for the evening if I wanted to and should come along. I MEAN WHAT THE FUCK!!!!

That really tipped my over the edge, thankfully Mama Africa came the rescue and took me out for a walk to clear my head and calm me down. So my plan was then to just go home, take a Valium and go to sleep but during the walk from the train station I descended to the darkest of places.

Thinking or rather knowing I had been replaced and forgotten about and let down and hurt by a friend, I knew that I was in a destructive place. I got home and got my pills. I had 122 antidepressants left from my last breakdown and I had always kept them.

I knew I didn't want to do it but I was terrified, more than I had ever been and I text the one person I knew that would get me out of the this, Sar, the problem was she was out at the birthday party. I didn't want to burden Mama Africa further she had been so good already and didn't know what to do. Sar got me through the last one and talked me down, I just wants thinking.

I didn't call I just text and between her and another friend Kat who just happened to text me they got me down. At the time I didn't know that Sar had showed another friend at the party the messages and the ex had found out as the two friends had had a row. I assumed Sar had kept everything to herself maybe that was naive of me considering there was drink flowing.

I came round and all was….I want say OK….but that isn't true I wasn't. Mama Africa came round again on Sunday and she took my pills and flushed them. I sent apology emails to the 2 people at the party and while Sar got back to me and has been fine with me since. One hasn't not and I got a message telling me that my actions were vile and he needed a break from it all. (I have been accused on numerous occasions of bring them into them situation but factually I haven't, I leave that one at the ex's door).

Vile….that word stuck in my mind for days and caused a further crisis enough to make me go to doctor and ask about be sectioned but the doctor was horrendous and I wish I hadn't gone at all. My counsellor was good but still I was stuck on 'vile'. You know if I had really wanted to ruin that night I could have just turned up and had a slanging match with the ex.

Also would you really send that message to someone who had been in crisis the day before, I can understand the anger I really can, considering the person in question has also had similar crisis' I would have expected some thing less damaging. I regret my actions and the distress I caused and look forward to talking it through one day with him.

I'm not writing this to assign blame to anyone but having said that there was blame enough being sent my way for the and I quote 'ruining the whole evening'. I'll take the blame of questionable judgement in texting Sar and causing concern but when in crisis you don't exactly think straight. I'll take on the fact that I need to make amends for my actions. I may have lost a good friend through it which I will have to live with and the repercussions of my actions that night for a long time to come.

Me and the ex had a chat about it and made our peace and I said that he had no idea how much anger there is inside to get out. He was away and said we should talk when he got back.

This is the moment it all started to change. We had the conversation and I said everything that I wanted to say, knowing it would hurt and cause upset but I needed to see that, not in some vengeance thing but to see if I meant anything to him at all as I was replaced so quickly and with ease. What was said will always remain between us but I saw tears and I saw pain. I needed that.

It's time to move on.

That was a couple of weeks ago now, my 40th birthday passed by quietly and maybe I wasn't happy with it so I have resolved to have a big party next year to do it justice. I had a great day out with Mama Africa, Mad Kat and Twinny and I think I spent the whole day laughing which is just what I needed.

I've even had a night out with friends, that may not seem very much or big but, dear readers, it fucking well is for me with social anxiety. Lol. In fact the night lasted till 5am and was a giggle, even saw someone who hates me very much that I had been dreading. There was no ex safety blanket so I thought 'Fuck it, I've got as much right to be here and if you want to waste your night glaring at me then go right ahead'. May not seem much but a confidence boost for me.

So an eventful few weeks, there are some things I deeply regret and will have to live with the consequences but there were some mini mountains climbed.

I sit here on a train writing this blog and there is a genuine feeling of happiness and excitement for the future. Still some big hurdles to come and still some anxiety over some lost friendships. However I know I will be alright and I have a life to live which is gonna be full of fun and laughs. One thing I take from the last few months is just how wonderful my friends have been. Some truly lovely things have been said about me and why people like to be around me. I am very humbled and very honoured.

I am also meeting a man for a coffee on Tuesday. Eek! Too soon, is it? What's the time frame? Surely if it feels right?

First and foremost, climbing Snowdon tomorrow with Twinny.

Si

Confused and conflicted 

Hello! 
So today I write in a place of some confusion.

Yesterday my recently ex husband/partner asked if I was in after work and be free for a chat. This can really only really one thing dear reader, bad news is coming. What else can you do but Si and wait for it, so that it what I did. Watching Eastenders and Holby from the previous day, eating the wrong foods and doughnuts. 

In he comes, there is a general chat about how everything is going as we are still living together and as it was an amicable split up we are both happy with the arrangements. I confess that I am in no rush to live alone as I still need to save up some money before I can go but I like where I live and it is working so i’m sticking with it.

We talked about all the stuff going on for us and giggle and laugh and I tell him what has been happening with my friend. We go over the faults in our relationship and re-enforce that we are happier now and discuss some of the things that might have saved it but in the long run it is done now and we deal with what is happening now. 

Then he tells me, he says it and for a second I am surprised. Then the logical part of my brain kicks and says “Of course he is”. He has been dating someone for the last 4 weeks, it has only been 2 months since we split up. He has been spending a lot of time in Northampton with old friends and he met someone he liked, they slept together at Pride and have been on a few dates with this person. I sit and absorb, the feelings hit, jealously (why is he first?), anger (it’s been a few weeks, it’s too soon), intrigue (is he thinner than me? Better looking than me?). Thank god I am seeing my counsellor tomorrow I think, which is where I am off to now, will continue this when I get home……..

………So I am back home now and after a difficult session and even more difficult conversation with the ex when I got home I am confused and conflicted but I am OK. 

So the only question I keep coming back to is, ‘I can’t have been that hard to get over’, which my is where I am stuck so I called him out on it. It wasn’t easy, he said it was terrible timing and that he is not fully over what happened between us but it was there, he agonised over it and decided not to let an opportunity pass by. I know he is further down the line, he knew and I did if I am honest, that our relationship was over a long time before so he reconciled it in his mind where I am still struggling. Not that I am letting him off the hook, it still hurts and I feel that I am essay to get over after 10 years but again would I have done the same thing if our positions were reversed. 

Confusing and conflicted. I wish him well and hope to have a very special friendship for many years to come but for now, I need time to process and think. 

What I do now is in my hands, do I let it overwhelm me and get stuck or do I process, accept and move on wishing him well? 

Advice and guidance?

Si

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

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!