Small fish humongous pond

Today is/was the 15th October 2017, last night I went to the Midlands Business & Community Awards….

(as a bonus I was able to wear my thin suit, I’ve been trying to aim for 10000 steps a day and I’m pretty sure because of this extra walking I was able to turn my nose up at my fat suit. I’ve walked down to Halesowen and so far have achieved 5610 steps…. 10000 target I’m coming for you today!!!!)

….anyway back to where we started. The Midlands Business & Community Awards, I was there supporting an amazing lady, Roz Lewis, along with other amazing people she runs an organisation called New Path Of Life (@NPOL2017) she didn’t win the award but even being nominated makes her a winner.  In 2016 I got a runners up award at the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioners Outstanding Citizens Awards, the winner of the Outstanding Citizen award was a 94 year old lady who was still going out on daily litter picks, cleans dirty street signs, removes graffiti, fund raises different charities and builds bridges within the community…. I know, WOW!!!! So I was extremely proud to be a runner up in the presence of her and all the other amazing people at the awards. I don’t know if this means anything or not but Roz is most definitely a winner in my mind, I’ve been doing some work with NPOL and she is amazing, what she and her all volunteer staff deal with on a daily basis is extremely inspiring, after my little break (which I’m now calling “Operation don’t go completely doolallytapp again”) I will definitely be doing more work with Roz and NPOL.

Whilst I was achieving my 5610 steps (so far) my noggin was flipping from positive to negative almost as frequently as I was checking my phone for the step total so far (possibly a bit obsessed….), this week started badly, so badly I took the decision that I’ve gotta take a step back from ‘exboozehound’ for a short while, explained in a couple Face Book posts and some YouTube Vlogs, below….

Monday 9th October

Tuesday 10th October (World Mental Health Day) Vlog

Tuesday 10th October (World Mental Health Day) Vlog on behalf of West Midlands Combined authority Mental Health Commission

Wednesday 11th October 1:40am

Wednesday 11th October Vlog “Time for a break “I’ll be back” “

Going through my noggin as I was walking was just how insignificant what I’ve done is in comparison to some of the people at last nights awards (wait don’t get angry read the rest of the sentence), I’m a seriously small fish in a humongous pond (we’re almost at the more positive bit, hold on) but you know what that seriously small fish has reached across some very humongous ponds and that seriously small fish is extremely proud of that. This seriously small fish has reached people in countries all over the world including America, Australia, Canada, Mexico any many more, in contrast to me saying what I do is insignificant I know I’ve helped people change their lives for the better and I also know I have saved lives. (Whether the demons are winning or losing they can’t take that away from me). Back in October 2013 I decided to start this blog, I decided to stand up and be counted, I forced people to listen to me, I decided I wanted to make a difference. Often I receive messages with words like ‘brave’ ‘courageous’ ‘inspirational’ and other amazing words that I never thought would be used to describe me, especially as I’ve spent most of my life hating who I am….

I don’t hate who I am these days, in truth there are times I quite like who I am, not just to do with the ‘exboozehound’ stuff but life in general, yes the demons work very hard to keep me hating myself and sometimes they get their way but I always bounce back. The demons are clever and devious often working on my life long belief that I’ll never achieve anything in life, yes I know I’ve said earlier I’m extremely proud of what I’ve achieved but here’s the thing cus I have this illness, anything I ever achieve will never be good enough for me and my demons. The decision to take a step back for a short while is quite possibly born on this belief that whatever I achieve it will never be good enough for me and the demons, added to that is my belief that I’m always gunna fail at real life, everyday stuff discombobulates me. I need to try and explain that a bit deeper….

(Reading what I go onto write below doesn’t explain at all any deeper why real life discombobulates me, nowts changed about my writing style eh Bell?, I’ll come back to it at some point. Or though thinking outside the box the fact that I went on to write the words below and not a deeper explanation of why real life discombobulates me is perhaps and deeper explanation in itself….?)

A lot of my strength and ability to keep going comes from forcing myself to stay in the day, which I believe is absolutely crucial to make progress in your recovery, if you had a crap day yesterday it doesn’t mean today has to be bad and if you’re having a crap day today it doesn’t mean tomorrow has to be crap as well. Sometimes staying in the day isn’t enough to deal with what’s going on with your mental health, sometimes it’s about staying in the moment and if that moment is a good one remember why that moment is good and remember you can have good moments, once you recognise…. (or accepted, huge words accepted/acceptance!!!!) ….you can have good moments these moments can begin to increase to good hours, good days, good weeks (I know good weeks sounds like utter bullshit, I’m even thinking bullshit as I type weeks….) . If that moment you’re in is a bad moment remember it will pass, remember what you’ve done to make these bad moments pass before, also remember that what you’ve done before to make bad moments pass may not always work so you will have to develop new (hate this phrase) ‘coping mechanisms’. If that bad moment builds to a bad hours, bad days, bad weeks remember everything you’re going through, whatever pain, this has all happened before and every time eventually you’ve got through it, yes it might of been extremely painful but you’ve got through it one way or another and you’ll get through it again. When bad times hang around for more than a couple of days some words I hear extremely often and think and say myself….

“I can’t handle this pain anymore”

“I’d rather be dead”

“what’s the point of fighting if eventually I end up back in this pain”

To be entirely honest I simply don’t have the answer to those words/questions and I doubt anyone has, and we would react differently to different words depending on what mood or place we were in our mental health, I can’t answer them for myself, what I can say is….

Strap on a pair
Fuck the demons
“There ain’t nothing you can’t handle…. Eventually!!!!”

And of course….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

And other things I definitely shouldn’t say, eg….

“Stop being such a fucking pussy” I actually said this to a guy last week, he called me the next day to say it was exactly what he needed to hear.

I am fairly sure you won’t find my approach as described above in any mental health training manuals!!!!

So to recap, went to an awards evening (in thin suit, woohoo), proud to be a runner up in 2016 to a 94 year old hero, 5610 steps (now 5744 as I’ve moved venues), hated me, no longer hate me, staying in the day, hour or moment and reacting to either good or bad, demons are fuckers, insignificant seriously small fish in humongous pond, proud seriously small fish in humongous pond with achievements to be very proud of, bit of unnecessary swearing (sorry), that’ll do for a recap.

Why did I want to write this post and why am I gunna publish it straight away and edit it later cus if I think about it too much I’ll talk myself out of publishing it?

I’m unable to sustain (is that the right word?) all the one to one stuff, group stuff (I do have people I can refer you to as part of, in fact I introduced 2 people to each other last night) committee stuff etc etc so I need a bit of time to reorganise my mind, commitments etc and make sure I take things in the right direction before I destroy myself and everything I’ve built over the last 4 years.

Mental Illness and addiction have taken away everything good and positive in my life, Mental Illness and addiction has also given me back most of the good and positive in my life, Mental Illness and addiction will not take anything good or positive in my life again!!!!

I want to leave my mark on this world and I want that mark to be a positive one, I want to leave a legacy (I know that’s not the right word and it’s a bit dramatic!!!!) so whilst I’m taking a bit of a step back I’ve started writing bits n pieces on a daily basis to monitor my state of wellbeing as part of this daily writing it’s my goal to write “A to Z handbook on surviving Mental Illness and Addiction” as I see it, I’m 100% sure some of what I will say/write people will disagree with, I’m also 100% sure if I do create this “A to Z” if I ever read it back I will disagree with me as well. I am also going to be thinking how to reach the friends and family of those with mental health and addiction issues, having met many carers over the last 4 years I know there is a huge gap in support for this, I’ve had conversations with friends and family many times before and I’m quite often surprised how little they understand about the nonsensical illnesses such as mental illness and addiction their loved ones are going through and putting them through, I’m also often surprised how quickly I can help them understand better and how beneficial this can be. I’m gunna be going through all the people in what I call my “VIP list” network and contacting them about how I want to move forward and ask if their on board, going right back to my first meeting with James Morris MP I tried to prepare notes prior to the meeting, in the end I only came up with one sentence “you’re either with me or against me and you don’t want to be against me….” Yes quite confrontational but James took it in the right way, I need to go back to more of the old confrontational exboozehound. I also want to look into if it’s possible to put some training together for what one guy called “the exboozehound method” in order to do this I’m gunna have to think about what my approach is built on other than simply honesty and lived experience. And finally for now I’m gunna be looking into starting a “private therapy” setup, where I will offer one to one therapy, family therapy etc this setup will be charged at an hourly rate, I know I don’t have the qualifications but I do have years of actual lived experience and I know I can offer something different to the “professionals” and when I say different I actually mean “better”. I have to look into this as an option to subsidise the other work I’ve done and will do moving forward.

So far my stepping back is looking like a lot of work, lol

As I said before “I want to leave my mark on this world, I want to leave a legacy” there’s a lot of conflict in my noggin when I say stuff like this, the conflict is between what the demons say to me and what people like you have said to me about how I’ve helped you and your loved ones.

Thank you for hanging on in there and getting to the end of this post, thank you again if you’ve clicked the links to the Vlogs and watched them , thank you for all your support over the last 4 years, without you guys I probably wouldn’t be here to write this post and plan a positive future.

I am exboozehound, that will never change but everyone of you that’s sent me a message, read my blogs, watched my Vlogs, purchased my book, responded to something on social media, everyone of you are part of what exboozehound has done and will continue to do, thank you xx

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

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