Are You Winning?

I Tweeted this today and I wonder if other people feel the same about the daily battle with or without Mental Illness?

UntitledAlthough I keep winning the daily battle and will keep on winning, it is very tiring and very painful. I know I am winning because for a short while now the only suicidal thoughts I have had is that i’m not having suicidal thoughts. 🙂 There are other intrusive thoughts in my head from time to time but not the big ones. I’ve  been thinking for a while I can’t wait until 2013 is out of the way because it’s been a pretty shite year, but I realised last night this could be a dangerous way to think….. lets face it nothing is going to change over night just like that, the only way it will change over night is through our own thoughts and the changes we make. We can decide to approach each day in a more positive way and that would be a perfect idea if I actually believed I currently had complete control of my thoughts, I have a lot more control than I did a couple of months ago but from time to time I haven’t got a clue what is going on in my noggin.

I haven’t had a major buzzing in the head session for a while, not that I can remember anyway but last night at about 11 as I was getting into bed a switch just seemed to switch in my head and away I went off to the land of nutjob, sitting in the dark with my hands on my head rocking backward and forward crying like a baby, the emotional desperation and pain running through me, trying to destroy me again. If you are reading this and understand what I am on about, I feel for you because it is extremely unpleasant!!!

The reason this post is titled “Are you winning?” is I would like to know if you are winning and what you are doing to ensure those daily wins. I know there are people out there that read the blog but don’t like to put comments on for other people to see, so let me know on Twitter via DM or put on comment on here (there’s a little “Leave a comment link” below the post Title) and note you don’t want it to be seen, all comments have to be approved by me before they go onto the blog and I can keep them private.

So…

Why did you have a short trip to the land of nutjob again last night Jon? I have absolutely no fucking idea and I couldn’t give a flying fuck, “it is what it is”. What I do know is I managed to have more control over it last night and I probably have to change a few things up again to level myself out a bit.

What things have you got to change Jon? I have absolutely no fucking idea and I couldn’t give a flying fuck, “it is what it is”. What I do know is that it could be something as silly as putting my right sock on before my left sock, in fact i’m gunna give that a go.

Whats 2014 going to bring Jon? I have absolutely no fucking idea and I couldn’t give a flying fuck, “it is what is is”. What I do know is absolutely fucking nothing and couldn’t give a flying fuck.

I think you might be starting to see a pattern forming??

I am winning, I know I am and I want to help others win as well (might be delusional thinking but I bet you can guess what I think about that!!) (hint – see above). I am in pain, I don’t like me, I “know” other people don’t like me, i’m a failure at life, I was a proper C**T when I was drinking, all in all I have been a waste of a human being!!!!

However…. Sometimes I’m not in pain, Sometimes I like me, Sometimes I “know” other people like me, I’m not a failure at life because I am still fighting, I was still a proper “C**T when I was drinking but I don’t drink now, all in all the chances are I won’t be a waste of a human being!!!!

There’s stuff I want, there’s places I want to go, there’s people I want around me and of course I want to be well!!! Will this all happen in 2014, see above for the answer to that…. the only difference being that I COULD give a flying fuck. I can’t set them as goals at the moment, but I will do everything within my power and that’s my power not a fucking “power greater than me” to make them happen.

So….

Tell me, Are You Winning?

Enjoy the good and ride out the bad

It is what it is

What will be will be

Keep fighting

Keep Smiling 🙂

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Play Acting

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Merry Christmas….. Bah Humbug

G’day all, the day is here…….aarrgghh!! This is the day you have been dreading for weeks, maybe even months but it is here and the world hasn’t and wont end…. it’s just a day!

Personally I have been fairly ill (mentally) over the last few days, i’m not sure if it’s the drugs (prescription!) or today, I have been manic for days, everything has been going at 100 miles an hour, emotions have been up and down….. a lot!!! During a really strong manic, anxious, shaking, “i’m mad”, “I can’t take this anymore”, “whats the point”, “I’m useless” etc etc… phase recently I noticed the only thought about suicide I had had was “I haven’t thought about suicide” WTF!!!!! AWESOME!!!!! Then I thought back…. I was in Asda car park the other day and I didn’t think about a trip to the top and a very quick trip back down again WTF!!!!! AWESOME!!!!!….. Driving on the motorway the other day I didn’t think about putting the car into the barrier I just smiled about the destination WTF!!!!! AWESOME!!!!!

Sorry about the lack of *’s in the following language…

This is Fucking awesome Fucking progress 🙂

I went to my first AA meeting in years last night, not because I am worried about the booze (Step 1 translated to exboozehound language.. Want it, cant have it, simple!). There were a number of guys there that sat in the room when I was an inmate at the Woodbourne Priory and gave us there knowledge and experience of drinking and sobriety, these guys are from completely different worlds to me but the stories they told were almost exactly the same as my stories and the stories of my fellow inmates. I wondered if they would recognise me and they did, they greeted me with a big smile and a strong hand shake, one of them took the opportunity to call me “Trouble” (I liked that!!). They didn’t judge me for not coming back, they didn’t judge me when I shared about not being able to take the AA path like they did, I think they even agreed with some of my nonsense. The meeting was strange some of the shares made me feel good, some made me feel bad, some made me feel angry, some made me feel worried, I don’t think the meeting did me much good as I was a bit upset in a phone call I made after the meeting and I probably made a bit of a tit of myself but “It is what it is”….. I have been ill, I am ill, I want to be better so so much. At the end of the meeting a couple came up to me and said they understood my share, another guy questioned if I had a sponsor and asked “so you haven’t had a drink since 2003, without AA and without a sponsor, not one drink?”…………Nope :).

2014 is going to be a good year….. hold up, what if it isn’t, what if “shit happens” again, OK….. some time in the near future things will be good….”Jon”, Jon, Jonathan and exboozehound are going to come together and from what I have seen of him so far I think I am going to like him (possibly).

If you are struggling with the booze or mental illness or whatever it is there will be times that you “know” the pain will never end, I “knew” it with booze and I “knew” it with mental illness, but you have to try everything you possibly can to come out the other side. It will be hard and you will have set backs but you have to keep fighting, every time you get knocked down just get back up, every time you don’t think you can cope remember you have coped before, every time you feel a bit of happiness don’t beat yourself up about it you do deserve it, every time you have feelings you don’t recognise embrace them, every time you think a drink would be nice remember that’s bullshit, every time a coping strategy stops working find a new one, every time you think about ending it all remember that is not the answer. We will be well again, hopefully never “a normal” but just less bonkers….

Enjoy the good and ride out the bad

It is what it is

Today matters, yesterday’s gone, tomorrow’s up to you

Ahh Fuck it!!

Roar like a lion everyday

and of course……….

K E E P  S M I L I N G  🙂

In reply to Alex J – Peace Out

Alex J is someone I have never met, he began to follow me on Twitter a short while back and has commented on a regular basis on this blog. I don’t think he will mind me saying he is a student mental health nurse, and I for one feel that if this is the quality of our future mental health nurses things can only get better. There is a passion and an interest in Alex that is very encouraging for the future.

This post is all about one of Alex’s recent comments, I think me and Alex are similar in that we will not say something in 7 words if 236 will say it better (attempt at humour?). I tried to reply to this comment previously but just as I finished my reply my laptop crashed and I lost the lot, I was a “little” frustrated!!!!!!!!

So Alex’s comment are in Black and my reply is in Red. (probably obvious, bit patronising Jon!)

“get Mans a pint of cider it will be entertaining” laughed out loud to this. I know it’s a serious topic, but like you, I can do comedy and seriousness at the time 🙂

Sometimes it can be hard to laugh at serious things but I think it is important for many reasons, one important reason for being able to laugh at unpleasant things is my mates, they are merciless when it comes to abusing each other so you have to get used to it. As an example of how merciless they are, when I got the shit battered out of me, along with a few teeth, I was lying in bed with a face twice the size as normal and I have a picture of my mates smiling, pulling faces and all thumbs up :). One comment I got from a mate was “to be honest they have done you a favour really because your teeth weren’t that good before” gotta laugh aint ya!

I’ve gone periods of staying off the booze (more on this later) and although I totally respect my own issues with booze are completely different to yours (both in their nature and their consequences?), some of the principles relating to the way people deal with a “non-drinker” are the same and we have experienced similar responses, as would everyone trying to cut down or eliminate booze from their life.

Generally speaking I tend to stick within reasonable limits for alcohol consumption (although “reasonable” is the not the same for everyone. You for example). Your reasonable is literally zero I’m assuming. For me, even if I am going through a period of drinking 5 or 6 days out of 7, I’m such a lightweight I would usually not go above the weekly recommended amount of units. Sometimes I would (especially if 75% bottles of red wine are getting downed), but not every week. My relationship with alcohol is that when I am drinking it stops other things from happening. I’ll have 75% a bottle of wine perhaps in an evening at home on my own, watching a movie. Relaxing? Chilling out some may say? Yeh, but the problem is, there were maybe two or three other things that needed doing that evening. The bedding needed doing, I told myself I’d go down Morrison’s to get some groceries or maybe tonight was the night I was going to start doing press-up’s again!!!!

It seems that booze is a way of life, it is everywhere…. “i’ll have a coke please” “a coke, go on have a proper drink”…. I have no idea what the weekly recommended units are, but I think I would be able to smash those in a couple of hours. Booze does stop you doing things but it will do in normal life, it’s a relaxant. I think there are a lot of people out there that will have a drink pretty much everyday and I don’t see a problem in that, yes it may not be very good for your health, but not a lot is. 75% of a bottle, is there such a thing?? There is a lot of pressure in life these days and a relaxant can relieve that stress, momentarily, I wonder if the liquid is the relaxant or the action involved in disposing of that liquid. I know for me just opening a bottle of wine used to immediately relax me, of course that opening was followed very quickly with drinking it 🙂 or :(. I’m not gunna talk about the “press up” issue cus I need to do some of those as well.

None of those other things would happen if I were to drink. That’s okay if it was just one night, but I’d end up enjoying the Merlot & Movie combo so much I’d want to do the same the next evening after work, and the evening after that. Before you know it, I’m doing less physical exercise in the early evening, less supermarket shopping gets done (and I’m losing money by buying at local corner shops) and my flat chores are piling up! This in turn get’s me tense and sometimes stressed, and thus a vicious cycle can develop of needing to “chill out” after work and “relax” into the evening!

Habits form very quickly and if drinking becomes a habit it will be hard to break if you are an alcoholic or not. For me if this habit is causing you to get “tense and sometimes stressed” I would say that sometimes you become reliant on the booze. Personally I don’t think being reliant on booze is an overly bad thing we are reliant on so many things these days and after all booze is a “legal” and “harmless” drug just like tobacco. (LMAO).

I’m getting off track here, but the main point I wanted to make, is when I come off booze altogether some other people (they don’t mean to annoy me!) can be really irritating (or I FEEL irritated… need to take ownership of my own reaction here), that “Mans does NOT want a f****** drink tonight”. “Mans” is perfectly happy to go without tonight!!!! This is especially true at Christmas as you will know. Three years ago I think it was, I went 100 days without booze. Not because it was causing me “major” problems, but because I wanted to show myself I can NOT drink and I wanted to see the impact not drinking would have on me. Among other things, wanted to lose weight and reduce spending. These 100 days covered a whole X-Mas and New Year period. I achieved a lot in those 100 days.

Just as a point of accuracy here “Mans” is my surname shortened and not Man with an s 🙂

100 days is fantastic, I bet you felt so much healthier and better for it. Alcoholics can go weeks, maybe months without drinking, I did a number of weeks, possibly a month off the booze but personally that is just a trick, a manipulation. It shows the people around you your are not an alcoholic….. during my time not drinking all I would think about is booze and the kick I would get when I started again. People around me would be proud of my effort and most importantly get off my back and pay less attention so I could drink more in secret….

Having said that 100 days is brilliant and I think shows it isn’t a “major” issue for you which is cool :).

I enjoyed the one X-Mas party I went to that year but only after people eventually shut-up about me not drinking. I tried to laugh it off at first but then I think I got short with someone and eventually they stopped bugging me. It was a good night after that. But I tell you, that night, you’d have thought I was REFUSING TO TAKE IN OXYGEN, that’s how baffled people were (or they seemed baffled to me anyways) and how determined and committed some people were in getting me to take a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. You’d have thought I was sitting there NOT BREATHING and people wanted me to breathe! “Look everyone, we got someone here not breathing, someone help this man, give him a breath for Christ’s sake, help him”. “We got a man down, we got a man down”, “Houston we have a problem”.

Lol, it is strange isn’t it, I think people are just wanting you to have a good time, to let your hair down and enjoy yourself.

I was even having wine poured into my glass that I had just finished my lemonade out of! All well meaning and done with jokes and smiles, but half of me was okay with the banter and half of me felt disrespected (again, I take responsibility for my emotions, feeling disrespected, that’s on me).

Strange how people don’t want to buy you as many drinks when you are drinking, that could make for a very cheap night out. On the “disrespect” thing I think it is a good point. If you were at a Christmas meal with someone who had lost a lot of weight throughout the year, people would not be piling stuff on to their plate, they would respect the effort of that person and probably say over and over again “you have done so well” (mind you I bet that gets annoying as well!)

I’ve tried the route of having a drink once, maybe twice a week, but I now feel the time again has come to have a proper run of no alcohol (for physical health and finance reasons) but also for my psychological wellbeing as I want to introduce a bit more discipline into my life and some boundaries I can stick to. I’m also desperately trying to support and encourage both parents to give up smoking as it’s killing them (well one of them for sure). My point here, is that I want to show myself I can practice what I preach and “give something up”. I admit it won’t be forever, but I’d like to give up at least one thing going into the New Year, even if temporarily. Take away a “crutch” I rely on. Battle through it, overcome urge and temptation. DISCLAIMER – not saying giving up casual drinking for a month is the same as giving up a life-time smoking habit!

Although I don’t know you very well, I know you will achieve the goals you set yourself :). Smoking is a shitty habit/addiction, I smoke far too much but I haven’t got the will power to stop at the moment. Fair play to you for supporting your parents, sorry to here one of them are unwell from smoking, I hope they manage to give up!!. Tobacco is also a “legal” drug (??). I like your DISCLAIMER that should save you from a bit of abuse!! 

I would like to add a DISCLAIMER as well on the booze subject…. If you drink copious amounts on a daily basis and you want to stop, be very careful about just stopping, this can be very dangerous. Before I went into the booze clinic I was told to keep drinking (this pleased me immensely) because my body was so used to the alcohol and stopping it suddenly could kill me, once in the clinic I was on certain drugs that control the withdrawal and kept me safe. Also, and this is a personal opinion, don’t say “that’s it i’m never drinking again” it sounds daft but it is a day at a time, maybe even an hour at a time, setting fixed parameters can be dangerous because if you don’t manage to keep to those parameters it can set you off and give you another reason to drink more and more because you have “failed”. I heard a story recently of patients in a well known addiction clinic keeping diaries of future events, things as simple as watching a TV programme at the weekend and it being written on a calender, you might think “what’s the issue with that” but what if there is a power cut and you can’t watch that TV programme, what are you going to do you had been planning this for a week, for me this could be a trigger to drink?? (again this is a personal opinion, I don’t think a recovery can be completely regimented because we all know “Shit happens”).

And Jon, guess what I heard on the radio the other day! it was advert relating to this…. I’m up for it 🙂

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/find-an-event/charity-challenges/dryathlon

Yeh I’ve got my own agenda and motivations for this, but if I can raise money for a good cause, then why not?

Alex

Go for it, I’ll do it with you, do you think people will consider back sponsoring me for 11 years, that could be worth a few quid. There is no problem in having your own agenda, there is no such thing as an unselfish good deed. It seems that January, February and maybe March are the only months it is acceptable not to drink because people are on a “detox”. If you do it I will sponsor you :).

Alex, thank you so much for taking the time to comment the way you do, selfishly it helps me a lot, and I hope it helps others as well!! I noticed “AL” commented the other day saying “Nice work, both of you x”, thank you AL x.

Oof, that is a long post!!

Peace Out

Keep smiling 🙂

Acceptance

I have been to an initial therapy appointment today, we spoke for an hour about Mindfulness and DBT (Dialectical behaviour therapy) it sounds very interesting if not a bit mind boggling and a bit weird….. the lady I spoke with, spoke about it all with such passion and honesty that it can only be a good thing. I have also had some really positive feedback via Twitter through a contact made through this blog, she is a very strong person who is having a hard time but she keeps going and I know she will make it (you know who you are).

When Mindfulness was first mentioned to me I got a book out of the library to see what it was all about, unfortunately within about 7 pages I gave up it all sounded a bit “hippy’ish”, sorry that is the only word I can think of, I started to think I would have to spend my life wearing tie die, chanting and being in touch with my inner being….. as a “neanderthal with depression” it is very hard to imagine me doing that!! But lets be honest what I have done so far hasn’t been a lot of use, i.e. take a few pills, ignore it as much as possible, man up and get on with life. Fact is, this year my mental illness has destroyed me, I have my theories why but they aren’t important at the moment, what is important is I have “accepted” I have a problem, I have “accepted” I must do something about it, I have “accepted” that at the moment “normal life” is not my strong point……..

“Acceptance” seems to be a big word now as it was 10 years ago, I had to “accept” I was an alcoholic (I had known I was for years!!), I had to “accept” that something had to be done and I “accepted” the help I was offered. Of course I now wish I had tackled all the other shit at the same time but who knows if I had tried to sort the mental health stuff at the same time I could be back on the booze….. So I “accept” that now is the time to tackle the mental health stuff and I am “grateful” I no longer drink. I “accept” I can’t have all that I want at this time and I am “grateful” for the friendships I have made through this blog. I “accept” my feelings and I am “grateful” that I have some. I “accept” I have an illness and I am “grateful” I can still do something about it.

During today’s appointment some new words were used that un-settled me a bit “Borderline personality disorder”, is this a new “label” for me, what the hell does that mean? Well who the hell cares, not me “it is what is it”. I had thought before this could be a possibility and at the moment I don’t know if that will become part of my diagnosis and I really don’t care. I think I have said it before on here and I said it directly to a professional today “I believe that most of what the experts do in mental health is guess work” I would be interested to see if the experts could prove to me this was not the case, on the other hand I probably wouldn’t believe there “proof” anyway. So at the moment I am happy to be diagnosed with whatever comes my way, I will “accept” whatever it is and I will address it and in time beat it.

There is a number scale that seems to be used a lot when talking about mental illness, 10 out of 10 is bad and 1 out of 10 is good (it seems the wrong way around to me, but what do I know?), anyway when I (has to be “I” as I can only really talk for myself) hit a 10 out of 10 it is horrendous I just don’t know what do do with myself, I think about ending it all to stop the pain, there doesn’t have to be a reason for hitting a 10 it just happens sometimes. My last 10 was a couple of days ago and I ended up kneeling down with my face planted in the carpet and my ass in the air (not a pleasant thought I know!) my head was “buzzing” and my blood felt like it was boiling in my vains…….. Fuc*ing mental isn’t it, what a Fuc*ing nut job…… I should probably be to ashamed to tell people this, but i’m not, i’m not ashamed I have an illness, I have been in the past, but I have “accepted” it now and I am attempting to do something about it, so what have I got to be ashamed of……. Nothing!!

If you are struggling, if you are ashamed, if you are hiding your illness, please try another way…. You have nothing to be ashamed of, You don’t have to hide it, You will still struggle with it but you will be struggling with others, it is still very painful and frustrating but in asking for help I believe you will also help others. Those others you will be helping might be people with similar issues to you, they might be your parents, your children, your partner, your friends. The people around you that love you don’t know how to help you, they will try, they will be willing to do literally anything, but from my own experiences I know that whatever they do will be wrong….. If they keep asking “how are you today?” it will annoy you, but also when they stop asking that question it will also annoy you. (?)

Ask for help and “Accept” any help and support you are offered, it wont fix you over night but it will give you a fighting chance.

Keep smiling 🙂

Please comment if you feel you can and subscribe to get updates by email (not that the subscription thing always works, Grrrrrrr, but “it is what it is”)

Inspirational Words

This is a very quick post, I had an inspirational moment this morning and this moment was on Twitter. I think there are lots of things to say about this but I want to keep it simple so: –

Talk about your feelings, be honest, in this day and age you can never be alone, there are some awesome people out there and Just do it 🙂

The reason I ended with “just do it” is because I asked @Billyidol to RT a link to my blog (if you don’t ask you don’t get!!) and from that RT this person got in touch :). To protect her identity I am simply going to call her “Awesome Lady” = AL

AL – Btw, how are you going Jon?

ME – If I’m honest I’ve been better :(, how’s u?

AL – Ah, that’s no good. I’m well, thank u for asking. Try and run with the gratitude idea. That’s what worked for me. x

ME – Gratitude idea? Is that being grateful for what we have x

AL – When I was depressed I always thought the opposite of depressed was happy. Then     one day, light bulb moment, The opposite of depressed is actually gratitude. That idea         literally turned my life around. I stopped hunting down this “happiness” I was     searching for & began looking for things to be grateful for. At first when u r very depressed it is hard. So u just start with “I made it through today” then ” I woke up today” really basic stuff… One day when u get to my stage which u will!!! u will start looking at the night sky and and sunsets & all sorts of things & think “Wow that is f**king brilliant. I’m so glad to be alive to see this. Good luck x

ME – Thank you so much, that is so inspiring!!! can I use yr words on my blog? x

AL – Of course you may!

ME – well from a Black Country lad (dont know if u know what that is) in local dialect “yam bostin yow am” x

Doesn’t that just sum it up? Fantastic! Thank you Awesome Lady x

Keep smiling 🙂Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

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Jibber Jabber

I have so many thoughts and feelings going around in my head at the moment that I don’t know where I am. Part of me is good, part of me is bad, part of me is horrendous and a lot of me is very tired of it all. I am happy I started this blog I am still getting messages from people saying they are reading it and giving me great feedback and encouragement, some people that I would never think would read a blog like this. I am having some great conversations on Twitter with people I have never met and that have so much to give even though they have battled through so much. There are some good good people out there :).

So i’m going to “Jibber Jabber” on for a bit, soz….

Lets get the nasty bit out of the way first, I still have suicidal thoughts and they vary from thoughts to feelings, they go from “I wish that fat C**T that sat on me beating me unconscious had carried on and done a proper job” and I think about returning the favour, a stint inside would finish me off. They go to “just do it Jon, end the pain, end the hassle, put yourself and the people around you out of the misery”, having said that I am 99.99% sure this is not the answer, it’s “a permanent solution to a temporary problem” and through all the thoughts of “failing at life” that would be failing, whilst I am still fighting I am succeeding at life. If you are battling a mental illness and you are still here you are succeeding and you should be proud of yourself, cus it aint easy!! The thoughts are less these days, probably every couple of days rather than every day :).

Although I have a mental illness some of the effects are very physical, tiredness, shaking, slowness, weakness, nausea, twitchy… there are so many more but my lack of concentration means I cant think of them. A lot of the current effects are more than likely down to the 200mg’s of meds a day, but what is the alternative, for me at the moment, there isn’t an alternative. I am pretty sure that the meds I am on are not perfect for me I am also pretty sure that the experts don’t know either, I believe a lot of what the experts do is nothing but guess work!!!! I believe in the placebo effect…… Ibuprofen cures headaches doesn’t it? Yup sometimes…. Nope not all the time….. Tic Tacs do the same?? I have once cured a headache by putting blue-tac on my forehead… Me mad? how dare you!

There are so many mental illnesses and I get it when people feel better when they are given a diagnosis “a label”, it bothers me that my sick note still says “depression” when a GP, Counselor, CPN and a Psychiatrist have spoken about “clinical depression” and “major depression disorder” but what difference does it really make. Fact is we are ill, we have a mental illness, we have mental health issues….. We are most definitely not seeking attention, being dramatic, lazy….. We can’t pull ourselves together, snap out of it, man up….. If we could we would because being where we are is f**king horrendous!!! It is painful most days, when you have a good day there is then further to drop down when you have a bad day, that hurts!! From my AA days there was a saying along the lines of “there is no such thing as a bad day, it’s a bad few minutes or a bad hour” (pretty sure that isn’t the saying but you get me drift) This is a good and bad saying….. If you have a “bad day” maybe you are wallowing a little bit so split your day up into smaller chunks and have a couple of bad hours instead. However having lots of good hours and some bad hours can be very painful and tiring and it can definitely mess your noggin up good and proper!! This is where my “it is what it is” works for me, I try to enjoy the good and I just ride out the bad and in doing that I can cope??

“Thinking is over rated”…. all the questions and thoughts that go through our minds, Why? What if? How? Should I?……. there are no answers to them, and if you do find an answer I guarantee it will be different the next time you answer it, so don’t waste your time and energy thinking about them, easier said than done, i’m thinking good and bad things now but thinking about them ain’t going to change them. You have to either do something about the thoughts and feelings or just accept them and deal with them when you have to. (not sure if that is helpful, but it helps me at the moment). I have to keep in mind that my thoughts and feelings might hurt others but I also have to keep in mind that at the moment my thoughts and feelings are more important than anyone else’s, not a nice thing but sometimes you have to be selfish to protect yourself and your recovery.

Today I am in pain, today I am struggling…… at the moment, this could change so I am just riding it out and lets see where it takes me. There are things that I want to do, there are places I want to go, but worrying about them ain’t going to change anything. If I do those things or go to those places that will be cool, if I don’t “it is what it is” “what happens happens” and of course “shit happens”.

I’m not sure if there is any point to the above “Jibber Jabber” but it has helped me so as I am very good at being selfish i’m gunna put that one down as a “Win” 🙂

Keep smiling 🙂

Tough Day

Hell of a tough day today……….. but I think a productive and significant one 🙂

Today was the day I met face to face with the NHS regarding my complaint about their Mental Health “System” and the pain, frustration and destruction it causes. The guy I met with was very good, he seemed to be caring and genuinely interested in what I had to say, he is yet another good good person within a pathetic, not fit for purpose system.

I am fully aware that we are lucky to have an NHS and I am fully aware they save and make lives better again and again, hour after hour, day after day, etc… One of the things I need to remind you of is that part of the reason I made the complaint is because people with in the system (staff) basically asked me to, which I think says a lot…..

We spoke for over an hour, it was quite painful to go through everything again and difficult because my memory isn’t brilliant at the moment so things can get confused. As I was walking to the place I could feel myself getting anxious, going inside myself, walking along with Sun Glasses on, hood up, ear phones in blocking out the outside world.

Sitting in the waiting room, with a nice cup of tea, I got out my little red note book and pen and wrote down the date, the place and who I was seeing (like a numpty!), throughout the whole meeting I didn’t write another thing. As I said earlier the guy I saw seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say, he genuinely seemed to care and understand the pain the system had caused me, and causes others, because of this blog I have stories from other people who have been treated worse than me. You might be thinking “he was there to seem interested and caring they have pulled the wool over your eyes”, but I am not a stupid man and through my work I have sat in many meetings and from my days as an active alcoholic I know how to manipulate a situation and I know if someone is manipulating me.

I’m not going to go into any more detail about the meeting as I don’t think it is the time, but I do want to talk about how I felt afterwards. Coming out of the meeting I felt good, I felt as if I had achieved something :), as I walked down to my local town centre I could feel the pressure building in me, the buzzing in my head was getting very loud, I seemed to be getting very slow and weak and I felt strangely paranoid. When I got to the town centre I struggled to go into the shops I wanted to, pathetic I know, but I managed to do a couple of the things I wanted to do. Then all I could think about was getting home and the fact that I had walked and it was going to take me 30 minutes to get back. The further I walked the harder it got and at one point I wanted to just sit down in a bus stop and cry, by the time I turned into my road I was in tears and struggling a little bit to breathe. I couldn’t face the lunch I had bought and ended up going to bed just to stop the buzzing in my head.

I am not after sympathy, I am not trying to over dramatise my day, I am not doing “Woe is me”, the reason I have written this fairly pointless post is just to put it down in black and white and to stress how much effort and pain went into me going through with my complaint. Being ill, accepting you are ill, asking for help are very difficult things for a lot of people. Being ill, accepting you are ill, asking for help shows you have failed at life, that you are unable to cope with life. IN ASKING FOR HELP I HAVEN’T FAILED, IF YOU NEED TO ASK FOR HELP YOU HAVEN’T FAILED THERE IS NO SHAME IN ASKING FOR HELP AND THERE IS NO SHAME IN BEING MENTALLY ILL “IT IS WHAT IT IS. I know there are a lot of people out there in much worse situations than me but this is my situation, this is my pain, this is my disappointment in me and this is my life that I need to get back on track.

You probably know someone struggling with Mental Illness, please encourage them to fight, please show them you care, please don’t patronise them, please understand that they are not lazy or just a bit low, please understand that a good holiday will not fix them. They are ill, when people say “odd” things like “there is a buzzing in my head”, “there is a fog in my head”, “I can’t get out of bed”, “I can’t face leaving the house” they are not making things up, they are trying to explain something that is “real” and that they don’t understand themselves.

Keep smiling 🙂

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Booze at Christmas

I am a Bah Humbug / miserable git when it comes to Christmas, probably for many reasons not least of which the fact that it starts in October!!! Unfortunately I don’t believe in God, I don’t even like to type or say the “G” word, in fact when I did go to AA I wouldn’t say the “G” word at the start of the serenity prayer: –

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Even the fact that it is called the Serenity “Prayer” bothers me a little bit, but nearly 11 years on from leaving the booze clinic I carry a coin with it on in my wallet. On one side it has the Serenity “thing” and the other side a butterfly with the words “Keep It Simple”, sounds daft but just looking at it gives me strength to stay off the booze. Of course being an alcoholic with mental health issues is never going to be “simple” but for me the answers are simple: –

Alcoholic = Avoid Booze

Mental Health = Ask for help and talk about it

I wish I could of done both of the above sooner than I did, but I can’t change that now I can change what I do moving forward and I have the wisdom to know the difference……

So, to the title of this post “Booze at Christmas” every year I can guarantee I will be asked the question “you will have a drink with your Christmas lunch wont you?” erm……nope! I also often get “if you haven’t had a drink for years surely that means you can control it now” erm……nope! Here’s the thing, there is a possibility that I could have one drink, there is the possibility that I could now drink like a gentleman but that’s a hell of a risk to take with my life and the lives of my family and friends. I was speaking with a guy the other day who has been soba for a couple of months and he was looking forward to his drink with Christmas lunch, I did say “I don’t think that is a good idea” but it’s not up to me and who knows he might be fine, but I am convinced I wouldn’t be. You won’t be surprised to hear that as an alcoholic I LOVE BOOZE, i’m not keen on the after effects of booze which is why I constantly had to top up the levels and if I had a drink I am sure I would only remember the good stuff and very soon it would be carnage.

“I have another drink in me, but I don’t have another recovery in me”

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable”

My guess is I will be getting the question about a drink with Christmas lunch on a fairly regular basis now, that’s cool it’s funny, sometimes you have to laugh at yourself. I am fortunate to have a bunch of mates that were merciless when it came to taking the piss…. one of my favorite comments I received after getting soba was “get Mans a pint of cider it will be entertaining” I still use this comment now :).

If you have a problem with booze, do something about it. Stopping drinking wont fix your life, it won’t be easy and at times it will be FU**ING Horrendous but it will be one of the best things you ever do, for you, for your family and for your friends. Being an active alcoholic is a selfish game of manipulation and lies, getting soba is also very selfish for a while, maybe for ever, getting soba will be the only important thing in your life, but  that is what booze is, well it was for me, nothing mattered more than booze, NOTHING!!

If you have any questions about getting off the booze drop me a message on here, Twitter or Facebook, i’m not an expert but I have a little experience in this area!! Do bear in mind though I am an alcoholic, I wont be able to be your crutch i’m too selfish for that and if you get on my nerves I will tell you.

Have a bostin Christmas……… Bah Hum Bug!!!!

Keep Smiling 🙂

What is “Real”

A real good friend of mine sent me an interesting message on Face Book the other day: –

“Blog subject suggestion. “Real”. You use the word quite often. I would be interested in your perspective LJEMFTF x keep em coming.”

My initial reaction in my head was “OOF!”

It turns out I don’t use the word “Real” that much, but it stood out for him and it makes a lot of sense….

He also commented:-

“I think if you are striving for “real life” its good to know what your expectations are.”

My initial reaction in my head was “OOF!” and reading these comments again “OOF!” is still my reaction, these are bloody good questions, NNOP is digging deep here….

So, I have an easy simple answer……

“I don’t know what “Real” is anymore”live streaming film Alibi.com 2017 online

A very simple answer but quite a painful one, and the more I think about what is real the more I realise I don’t know. I have spent so long hiding, faking, manipulating and ignoring my feelings I don’t know what is “Real”. What is real life? Well, I am 40, so by now real life should be good job, nice house, nice car, nights out with the misses, days out with the kids, I should have a bit of money in the bank…….. I ain’t doing that well then, I have failed miserably at that shit!!

I have a good job, I know I am a good Salesman and an awesome Account Manager but mental illness has put this on hold…….

I had a nice house, but we are trying to sell it, mental illness took this away from me……

I don’t own a car, I still drive a company car but eventually mental illness is going to take this away from me……

Ain’t got a misses, mental illness has taken quite a number of those away from me……

Ain’t got kids, mental illness has always told me I couldn’t have them, I would destroy them, it would be unfair…….

Money in the bank, nope……. F*ck me Jon you’re a F*cking loser……..

So all my expectations I have failed at, everything I and society tells me I should have by now I haven’t got, mental illness has either stopped me having them, is taking them away or has taken them away. My expectations confirm what I know, I am a loser, a waste of a human being, I have failed at everything and nothing is real anymore….

But hold up, what if all that shit isn’t what is real, what if there is something else that is real, what if real is what it is, real is where I am. Although I still go through hell everyday and I am shit scared of what the future is going to bring I still want to help people, I care about people, people have been contacting me on here and Twitter and Facebook that suggests people care about me, I am a good person, I am a strong person, yes I have done things that i’m still ashamed of back in the drinking days but those days are behind me now. I am ill, unfortunately that is what is “real” at the moment, all those “expectations” aren’t real most of its just stuff. I might get most of that stuff one day, but underneath it all I will of still been ill, maybe I will still be ill….who knows???

What is “Real”?, what is “Normal”?, why am I ill?, why do good people get hurt by others? and why do people seem to like me? Who knows, who gives a shit, why am I asking questions that don’t have an answer, why am I worrying about stuff I can’t change? as a great man once said:-

“Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.”

There are some really good things in my life at the moment, things that keep me calm, things that make me want to get out there, what they are doesn’t matter, they are what they are, it is what it is. There are also some really horrendous thoughts and feelings that scare me and hurt me, that make me cry, that make me rock backward and forward like a nutter, that make me want to give up……but I can handle the shit stuff I have done it before and I will do it again, I will keep doing it, I will beat this, I will help others beat it, I will make kids laugh for being stupid, I will make people smile and perhaps I will find “Real” one day whatever the f*ck it is, perhaps “Real” doesn’t exist????

It is what it is….

what happens, happens….

Keep smiling 🙂

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