I’ve just checked the date of when I published the “About Me” page on my blog, unfortunately cus I have the memory capacity of a daft gold fish I’ve already forgotten the exact date but I do remember it was October 2013 and this is what I wrote: –
Hi, my name is Jon I am â€œexboozehoundâ€ you can probably work out I have had one or two issues with booze over the years. Fortunately my last drink was on the 17th February 2003, the day before I started a 4 week stay at the Woodbourne Priory Hospital.
I have suffered with depression since my teens, I am now 40 and unfortunately Clinical Depression has got the better of me and is currently winning the war.
So, to sum up I am a 40 year old Mentally Ill Alcoholic who is winning against booze but losing against depression.
I have started this blog to share my experiences, good and bad. I am going to be completely honest and I guarantee I will contradict myself from time to time.
I have had a horrendous time over the last few months and if this blog can help even just one person in a very small way it will be worth it.
Very simple and simply honest, if you’ve read any of my other stuff you will of spotted contradictions, but I have always stayed honest and my writing style can never be classed as professional, although over the months and years I have cut down quite a lot on the swearing. (maybe)
I spoke very briefley to a guy on Twitter the other day and asked him if he’d read my blog and he replied “Yes mate your blogs make me feel part of something,” To get that as a reply shows me that starting the blog was the right thing to do, simply put that’s exactly what it’s about, being part of something. Depression and mental illness make you feel very alone but with social media we are NEVER alone. I speak with people on Twitter that keep there identities anonymous, that’s not my way, that was a decision I took way back when I started the blog. To begin with I was just Jon aka exboozehound, then by mistake I put my surname in a post and thought I shouldn’t of done that and then I thought “aaaahhhh bollox, who cares” so just to show I have absolute no shame, Hi I’m Jon Mansell, I’m a mentalist and a retired alcoholic….
I distinctly remember thinking about starting the blog whilst I was mowing my Dad’s lawn, unfortunately around that time I was a little bit on the manic side and what started as a simple blog spiraled completely out of control and went a long long way into ridiculous delusional thinking…. Not quite “I’m gunna rule the world, ha ha ha ha ha ha” but trust me it wasn’t far off. To be honest mania and delusional thinking can sometiimes be a fun place to be but my mental health worker spotted my mania and delusion was getting a bit dangerous and slightly reduced my meds which brought me back down to earth a bit…. 🙁
Anyway, I think it’s fair to say the blog has come along way since October 2014.
I think it’s also fair to say quite a number of you will be thinking “blah, blah, blag, get to the f’in point!!!!”
So, the title of this post “Momentum” this is me trying to be a little bit clever so it’s bound to go wrong…..
But, I’m always willing to make a tool of myself, it’s one of my few talents….
“exboozehound” isn’t just me, it’s all about you lot, those that have offered me support and those that have asked for my support, those of you that have shared, liked or commented on a post on Face Book or Favorited, Re-tweeted or commented on Twitter.
Having got an email a few months ago from a guy called Tom Bowen from Big Centre TV via Chris Barron at Health Watch Dudley, Tom came over to see me and interviewed me about the blog and the one or two issues I’ve had in my life.
Then a couple of weeks ago I got another call from Tom who told me he was doing a documentary series called “Dee Asks” with Dee Kelly (offa Benefits Street and Celebrity Big Brother, etc). We met at The Hope Centre in Halesowen and spent a couple of hours together. I had to admit to her I’d never really watched Benefits Street or Celebrity Big brother cus programmes like that just make me angry…. I think that was a good thing cus I had no pre-perceived perceptions about her…. She was a total legend, genuinely interested in talking to me about depression, Mental Illness and Alcoholism, Dee is doing different documentaries on various subjects and on Friday she gave us a little introduction to what she is doing speaking with Bob Hall.
And then on Saturday I got a text of Dee’s manager asking me if I would be up for going into the studio in Walsall to be interviewed by Monica Price for Cuppa TV. This hasn’t aired yet but you can be sure that as soon as I can I will be posting links everywhere….
Ok, so we are still talking about momentum, momentum is building more and more people are becoming aware of “exboozehound” and actually want to talk to me.
On Thursday this week I will be going to a meeting held by Dudley Borough Clinical Commissioning Group Public Health Forum Meeting…. The last one I went to I started a discussion/argument with the GP giving the opening slide show and I can guarantee I wont be sitting quietly at this one just nodding my head.
Today I have spoken with a Dudley & Walsall Mental Health Trust Manager who wanted to confirm I was to be attending a meeting on Friday entitled “Working Together For Recovery Group” and again I can absolutely guarantee I won’t be sitting their nodding my head….
I have done some work with Health Watch Dudley, Dudley Making it Real Campaign, and was partly involved is setting up The Peoples Network which started with about 10 of us and the last time I actually got to a meeting there was more than 50 people there.
I have interested contacts withing the Dudley and Walsall Borough Council, I have been to various meetings with a company called Governance International and I’ve had a number of meetings and conversations with James Morris our local Conservative MP who is the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health who are working for mental health to be given the same level of priority as physical health.
So, although my Noggin Demons continue to tell me I’m a failure at life and a waste of a human being things ain’t going too badly and I have to work at keeping the Momentum moving forward and take all the opportunities I can to get out there and show that a drain on the benefits system like me is actually determined to make a difference for me and others whether they are in this country or all over the world….
Oh and I’ve also been nominated to be recognised at the 2015 Dudley Volunteer Awards, because 2 months ago a started “exboozehound’s Group For Men” which happens once a week on Thursday at 13:00 at The Hope Centre Halesowen.
I’m now sitting here thinking “can I actually publish this, I’m coming across as a right Tosser banging on about all that’s happening” but I have to publish it because it’s not just about me, it’s about all those people that send me kind words about me and what I am trying to do…. This morning the first thing I read was a DM on Face Book that said “Hey, I hope you are well. Just wanted to say how inspiring you are!!! Always a calming influence and always make sense”. I am very fortunate to of received a good number of messages using the word inspiring or inspirational and a lot of the time I laugh it off and then get told off for not taking a compliment. Reluctantly I have started to take those words for what they are, they still sit uncomfortably but if people actually take time out of their day to say stuff like that I should accept them and ensure they continue to inspire me to carry on….
So, lets look at another kind of momentum….
This is about the momentum we need to look for to keep the momentum of our recovery moving forward, sometimes it’s very difficult, sometimes it’s almost impossible. Today I have sat here and wrote all that stuff above, proud that I started the blog to help me and others and it seems along the way I have helped others through tough times.
You may think that Jon is currently doing really well and today and yesterday I am. However on Friday I was low and sat in the lounge thinking “I can’t win this war against my demons, eventually they will destroy me completely, every time I think I’ve turned a corner another wave of misery and pain comes along to fuck me up”. Sunday I was only out of bed for 3 hours, thoughts like that and not being able to get out of bed is no way to live a life it’s just an existence….
With thoughts like that I have to keep going back to “enjoy the good and ride out the bad” every time I get low I have to remember I have bounced back before and I will bounce back again. You have to remember that every episode of misery you have you will bounce back eventually and in keeping on bouncing back you are keeping the momentum of your recovery going forward. You may of had a bad day today, but that doesn’t mean tomorrow will be a bad day as well, and if it is another bad day it’s just another 24 hours you have to get through to see if the day after that gets a bit better and if it does get a bit better, enjoy it, you never know the next day might find you feeling a bit better also. If you’re having a shite day just work your way through it however you can and if all you can do is lie in bed, or mope about feeling sorry for yourself, or spend the day bursting into tears then so be it….
Rightly or wrongly I am of the opinion my Noggin Demons will never give up trying to destroy me, basically I’m a long term mentalist, I was born a mentalist and I will die a mentalist but with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work I may be a happy/relaxed mentalist who knows I have a purpose in life and hopefully I will have many things to be proud of and you guys will hopefully be the same.
Keep working hard on keeping the momentum of your recovery moving forward and when the backwards steps come along, cus lets face it they more than likely will, remember your demons didn’t completely destroy you last time and they wont do it this time, yes they are clever little evil fuckers, but you will always be that little bit stronger and you will learn ways to play there game and beat them at it….
Right, I think I’ve finished…. I/we have to work together to keep the momentum of exboozehound moving forward and I/we have to work tirelessly to keep the momentum of our recovery moving forward.
Whatever the little demon fuckers throw at you, you’ve beaten them before and you will continue to beat them every time they have a go….
There ain’t nothing you can’t handle…. EVENTUALLY!!!!
“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”
Read my motto again and again and again until it grabs you by the bits and you fully understand it and what it means to YOU!!!
Keep going 😉
Jon aka exboozehound
Oh and don’t forget my Thingymajig (memoir/book)