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)

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