Look at me

It’s been said to me before that I only created exboozehound for attention, wrong!!!! but I can understand why people thought that. I was constantly putting stuff on Face Book and Twitter on the subject of my suffering, which could quite easily seem a bit “woe is me”. I openly admit to using Face Book and Twitter as therapy and I’m definitely guilty of wanting people’s support by way of comments to help me feel better about me. Someone said to me a couple of weeks ago that they found it odd that I still keep reposting stuff about mental illness and depression now I’m a lot better and on the right track, my response to that hopefully confirms to people that I didn’t create exboozehound for attention and although this will come across a little “ooohhhh look at me I’m awesome” exboozehound was created because I wanted to make a difference. I continue to repost stuff about mental illness and depression when they make sense and strike a chord with me, because if they strike a chord with me then chances are they will strike a chord with others who are suffering.

Oof!! that does come across very “ooohhhh look at me….” but to be honest I really don’t care, people who actually know me will know it’s not about me, it’s about trying to make a difference, how ever small. There is still far too much shame and stigma around mental illness, there is still far too many people suffering in silence unable to ask for help and take it from me if you don’t ask for help eventually your noggin will explode and once that explosion has happened it’s a fucking long way back!!!!

The exboozehound blog was started just over a year ago, (my About Me page was published on the 24th October) whilst in a desperately depressed state considering suicide on a daily basis I found a memoir written by an Australian called Daniel Baker and whilst reading it I started to notice a lot of the things he had written, thought and experienced were very similar to my thoughts and experiences, it made me feel I wasn’t actually “mad” (debatable, lol) or completely on my own, I was just un well…. Reading that memoir really helped reignite my fight, the fight against mental illness completely and utterly destroying me. It then came to me that if a complete strangers words could do so much good for me that maybe my words could do the same for others. Very quickly after starting the blog I started to receive comments about how my words helped make sense of the madness in people’s noggins and how I used words to describe my pain that their loved ones had used. For me the beauty of this is that the more we talk and the more honest we are the more people will realise they are not alone, they are not weird and if there is something telling you “there’s something not quite right about me” you could very well be right but whatever it is that’s not quite right there will be people out there who can help and probably just as important it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you might be a bit different and not “normal”….

What’s “normal” anyway?

Who wants to be “normal”? Not me!!!!

Someone once said to me you seem “normal”…. I’ve never been so insulted in my life!!!!

We are all individual, life would be very dull if we were all the same and if our individualities are good, bad or ugly it doesn’t matter our individualities are what makes us who we are. It’s frowned upon to say “my mental illness is me”, but I don’t see why, for that to be a negative statement we have to believe that EVERYTHING about our mental illness ways is negative and it just isn’t!!!! There’s a lot of positive traits that mental illness has a hand in, my mental illness and probably alcoholism made me a good sales man because I was able to use my unbelievably strong manipulation skills to make sales happen, these same skills were very useful for my last job role as an account manager. Mental Illness made me think differently and do things differently and when you are different you stand out for good reasons as well as bad reasons. I used to joke a lot about being “anal” about details and things being right, for me that’s a bit of OCD that makes me strive for perfection (positive and dangerous). My mental illness fuelled noggin spent years and years telling me I was a useless waste of space so I had to try harder and harder not to believe that and achieve something to prove it wasn’t right and after all that exhausting effort unfortunately I never actually achieved anything….

When I say I’ve never achieved anything people tend to remind me that being a retired alcoholic is an achievement, not to drink the glorious liquid that I love so much, the liquid that made me feel amazing, that basically made me feel like a person and drowned out the shite going on in my mind, booze to me was everything, NOTHING else really mattered, if I wasn’t drinking it I was thinking about drinking it and getting to that place of complete euphoria and peace also well known as being completely and utterly shit faced!!!! Mmmmmmmmmmm, Doh!! I no longer have that option, booze can no longer be my saviour, booze can no longer be my place of freedom and hasn’t been for over 11 years, I still miss it but I know I cannot control booze it controls me. So is giving up the booze a real achievement, I guess now it is, it has some meaning because being a soba alcoholic is another huge part of what I am…. So in conclusion I am basically made up of 2 horrible, horrendous, appalling illnesses that can and do kill on a regular basis, being alive and being me (whoever that is) is an achievement in itself…. More often than not things in my life a pretty good, I don’t have an awful lot of stress as I have pretty much no responsibilities these days, I’m on a good track, I’m on a level and I’m fairly stable….

Mind you to achieve that good track, levelness and stability I have to take 300mgs of medication a day…. Who gives a fuck, I’d stand in a bucket of custard, naked and painted pink if it kept me away from the place I was a year ago…. (Obvs I would only do this in the summer when it’s a bit warmer….)

No matter how horrendous life gets it can and WILL get better if you are honest with yourself and those around you, ask for help, demand help, be patient cus help doesn’t tend to come very quickly, keep using that help, and keep being honest and open about the you that is you and not the you you think you should be. We are all individuals and being that individual honestly is very very important cus if you keep wasting energy covering up and hiding what is making you individual you will never make any progress in life and not just conventional life but deep down real life….

So, back to the title “Look at me”….

Attention seeking for me is definitely not what exboozehound is about, getting attention for the subjects of mental illness and alcoholism is what it’s about, both of these illnesses cause an horrendous amount of pain to many many more people than we would ever believe. They are illnesses just like any physical illness some people have them and some people don’t.

It’s starting to feel like exboozehound is starting to achieving something, ONE person can make a difference. But even though exboozehound was started and created by just one person exboozehound isn’t just one person, exboozehound is you and anyone else that has ever read any of the nonsense I write, exboozehound is anyone who’s had the courage to leave a comment on my blog, exboozehound is anyone who has favourited, retweeted or replied to anything I’ve ever tweeted on Twitter, exboozehound is anyone who has liked, shared or commented on anything I’ve ever posted on Face Book, exboozehound is anyone who has purchased and read my book erm memoir erm Thingymajig on Amazon (still available at a relatively reasonable price, and has a couple of five star reviews….)

I’m proud of what exboozehound is starting to achieve, I am proud of what ALL of you have done to help that progress and this week that progress includes….

Monday – met with someone with things that are troubling in their life and shared my experiences, beliefs and theories on how to deal with there troubles.

Wednesday – attended a meeting run by Dudley Council to discuss Adult Social Care and agreed to join a “people’s network” to put my money where my mouth is and invest time in building that network to benefit all that need help for whatever reason.watch full movie Aardvark onlinefilm Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2002 trailer

Thursday – met with Governance International, discussed and agreed for me to get involved in their work bringing people together to work towards improving mental health care. I came away with a remit of organising a co-production meeting hosted in Dudley, to invite various people and organisations I have had contact with during my recovery.

And throughout the week I have had various messages telling me that what exboozehound does has a positive effect on their lives…. Wow!!!!

Yes this IS all a bit “look at me” but it’s also “look at you” cus exboozehound wouldn’t be doing what it was without your support and input….

YOU’RE ALL FUCKING AMAZING AND I HOPE YOU ARE AS PROUD AS I AM!!!!

Watch this space, exboozehound is going places, jump on board now while there’s still room….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound
@exboozehound
www.exboozehound.co.uk

Oh and don’t forget my Thingymajig (memoir/book)

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-47484364-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);



//

How a Numpty like me….

G’day all, I hope you are well? And if not well I hope you KNOW things can always get better and will!!!!

Recently I’ve been really struggling to write posts for the blog, not sure why, there’s probably loads of reasons but if you know me you will know by now I try not to do “why?” cus it’s a waste of energy….

I’m thinking I may just start updating the Random Thoughts page on a regular basis with things from conversations that happen organically….

As an example of this I was speaking with a friend on Twitter yesterday and when I asked how she was these days she replied….Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

“Hmmm… If I’m honest, I’m not sure how I am. Not as good as I should be I guess….”

Now, as I’ve said before I’m no expert and there is nothing special about me so you shouldn’t take what I say as advice it’s just the honest opinions of a mouthy Nutjob, but I am gunna say what I said to her….

“That’s an interesting comment…. We feel what we feel, we have to learn to take it at face value and accept, it is what it is…. This is yet another time I can use my quote “enjoy the good and ride out the bad”. We are not in a race with other people and how they feel and react to life, we are individual and will most likely never make sense”

Yes I’m aware that my drivel isn’t Dali Lama’esque but if you can be arsed please have a little think about that and see if you can work out what I’m trying to say….

Annyywhooooo….

As I said at the beginning of this post I’m struggling to write stuff at the moment so ive dug out something I wrote back in July, I was asked to write something by an individual at a company called Governance International. They replied to me and said they liked what I had written but unfortunately they still haven’t published it, so I decided to publish it myself….

I hope you find it interesting?

How a numpty like me came to be at the 12th West Midlands Network Co-Production Meeting (9/7/2014)

To begin with I’m Mentally Ill, I don’t just have Mental Health, I have Mental Ill Health and have had for many years, although prior to 2013 my mental illness was simply called depression. Since the age of about 18 I have been on various anti-depressants and up until 2003 my other medication was copious amounts of alcohol.

In 2003 I spent 28 days at the Woodbourne Priory to get me off the booze. (Paid for by Bupa as the NHS were no help at all).

In 2013 I had a mental breakdown, not that the GP’s and Noggin Docs (aka book monkeys) seem to use that phrase anymore, I think they call it an episode. Mind you I’m pretty sure they don’t describe it the way I like to:-
In 2013 I finally went dolallytap and my noggin went pop…..

In October 2013 I started my blog, www.exboozehound.co.uk, and started using my twitter account, @exboozehound, to tweet and blog about mental illness and alcoholism. I used to have a little pop up box to warn people visiting the blog for the first time I wasn’t exactly PC and I have a tendency to use quite a few swears…..

In January I had 49 followers on twitter, I now have 730+ followers all over the world. My blog also gets hits all over the world, although fortunately I’m not quite as stupid as I look and I take the hit statistics with a pinch of salt as I also get spammed an awful lot.

Anyway that’s a small introduction to me….

I attended the 12th West Midlands Network Co-Production meeting on the 9th July 2014 having been invited by Justin Haywood (Dudley MBC). I’met Justin and a couple of his colleagues a few months before at a meeting held at Halesowen Cricket Club on the subject of budget cuts in Adult Community Care Services. Unfortunately there weren’t very many people there and even more unfortunately for Justin and his colleagues the lack of attendees allowed me to use my no holds barred, opinionated, angry at establishment, huge gob quite a lot!! I was and still am angry at establishment because if my recovery from my episode had been down to the NHS and there pathetic not fit for purpose system I would be dead.

During various meetings with NHS staff a number of them asked me to complain, which I wanted to do, and my Mom had already started doing, but until I knew even the people who had to work in the system thought the system was broken and not fit for purpose as well I just couldn’t muster the strength, but now my strength and determination was building. Also speaking with friends in a Rethink Support Group made me even more determined to do something, because most of them also wanted to complain, if not all of them, but they were too frightened to do so and even tried to warn me off from making my complaint because if you make waves they will take away your support and they won’t help you…. Although I said my strength was building the complaint process made me very ill at times, but I was at the stage that I really didn’t care about my pain I just wanted to help others avoid the excruciating level of mental pain I had been through. One of the most painful parts of the process was receiving a letter from Gary Graham and realising he knows absolutely nothing about Mental Illness!!!!!!!

During the first meeting I attended with Justin I was shocked and appalled at the budget figures and how much of the current budget was to be cut. As I had just been very nearly destroyed by the current system at the current funding levels knowing that a huge amount of that budget was to be lost was frightening…. How many more people were going to get as desperate as I had been? How many more people will actually go through with taking their own lives because the desperation is so horrendous? How many more stories will be on the news about people being hurt and killed by mentally ill people who had been let down by the system? And so so many more questions!!!!

Currently I have the ear of my local MP, James Morris, he has told me he is going to speak directly to Norman Lamb about me and my blog and use some of my experiences of the NHS to show just how poor it actually is at ground level.
Anyway, the various important people at the Co-Production meeting on the 9th July are definitely aware of me now…. Partly because I attended the meeting in shorts and a BA Baracus t-shirt saying Crazy Fool but hopefully mainly because I made sure I used my gob….. A LOT!

In the room there were a lot of obviously very intelligent influential people talking very sensibly about what should be done…. But for me the problem is that’s pretty much all they are doing about it, with a few exceptions…. I can say this with a certain amount of confidence as someone much more intelligent and important than me said during the meeting that they were talking about the same things 5 years ago…. Also someone said to me quietly “I agree with everything you say but I can’t say it as I will lose my job….” I KNOW NOTHING significant has really changed in the last 11 years as I talk to a wonderful lady who’s son took his own life the same year, almost the same month that I got soba. The pathetic not fit for purpose system let him and his whole family down 11 years (and more) ago and the system is still letting people down again and again every single day!!!!

I applaud what the people in the meeting are trying to do, I applaud what James Morris MP is trying to do but as I said in the first meeting when I met Justin and I have said to James….

The system is broken and is unfixable. Until the politicians Strap on a Pair and finally tell the truth about the fact they know they can’t fix the NHS people will keep on being let down, people will keep on taking their own lives to end their pain and we will keep hearing stories on the news of appalling things mentally ill people are doing to other people because the system let them down, again and again and again….

It is definitely time to talk to lessen the stigma attached to mental illness, it is definitely time for more people like me to talk openly and honestly about mental illness and how it destroys lives and ends futures. BUT you people in well paid high profile jobs at the top of your game, it’s time for you to actually earn those salaries and actually do something rather than just talking about it!!!!

At one point during the meeting on the 9th July I asked the whole room if ANYONE actually had ANY experience of mental illness. I got just one response, and that was “We all have Mental Health….” Apart from being a very insulting and patronising sentence it tells a very strong story….

That story is either no one in that room had mental illness experience firsthand or they were too ashamed to tell a room full of their peers they are mentally ill themselves….

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound
@exboozehound
www.exboozehound.co.uk

Oh and don’t forget my Thingymajig (memoir/book)

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-47484364-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);



//