Tag Archives: booze

Four letter words – guest post

Hi, this is an extremely powerful guest post, i’m saying nothing else at this point….

Four Letter Words

I have been too ashamed, too anxious to speak out about what I’m about to share, however I shouldn’t be and if this post helps just one person, then it’ll be worth it. This post does come with a trigger warning

Four letter words. How many can you think of? Food. Dark. Joke. Hate. Love. A lot of you will think of simple words with little to no meaning, however for me, one word changed my life. Rape. Let me share some statistics before I share my story.

There’s roughly 11 rapes (adult alone) every hour.
There’s an estimated 60,000 – 95,000 victims every year throughout England and Wales alone.

Black or white, male or female, adult or child, it doesn’t matter, if you’ve had a few drinks or not, if your with your friends or alone, if your covered head to toe or have skin showing, you’re always going to be at risk.

See, rape is a four letter word that’s paired with dark places, strange men and violence. This is so wrong; approximately 90% of victims know their attacker. I knew mine. He was someone I ‘loved’, someone I trusted. He wouldn’t hurt me right? He loved me? Wrong.

I was 14 when I met him, we were fine for the first couple of months, then it were almost as if someone had flicked a switch in his head, he became manipulative and controlling. I was sexually and mentally abused. Guilt trips, shouting, threats, it just didn’t stop. Friends and family, they could see what he was doing but I refused to believe. Self-harm, alcohol and starvation became a coping mechanism. February came, the first time he raped me. I remember it so clearly. His breathe on my face, his hands tight around my wrists, pinned to the bed. Screaming ‘no’, ‘I’m not ready’, trying to fight back just wasn’t enough and that was that. I prayed it was just a blip and that it wouldn’t happen again. Maybe I’d done something wrong to deserve it? No, no one ever deserves to go through such pain. Somehow it happened every week for months, it’s like he had it all planned out. I wasn’t strong enough to carry on. I had a knife to my chest, miscarried at 15, attempted suicide.

‘Why didn’t you fight back?’ People don’t understand that it’s a fight or flight reaction and most people freeze. Your body, your mind, even time, it stops. You’re silently screaming for help praying someone comes and frees you, there’s nothing you can do but wait.

Such trauma changes you, everything you saw the world to be before, everything you saw yourself to be before. It’s no longer the same. Being alone with or in contact with a man leaves you in a state. Constantly on edge, questioning everything, tormented with flashbacks, you can’t make it stop its happening again, there’s no escape.

But there is, with time and strength you will find yourself in the light that you never thought you’d find at the end of that god damn tunnel. This was not my fault; no matter how many times my head convinces me it was. I did not deserve what happened; I did not ask for it, I did nothing to provoke it.

I want you to know, if you’ve been through such an experience, or find yourself in this position; it is not your fault! Surround yourself with people that love you, people who care and understand. With the correct support and love, the flashbacks are easier to handle, the nightmares lesson. You are brave, you deserve better. Don’t give up hope, don’t give up faith. “Every seven years every cell in your body regenerates, that means in seven years time you will have a body that your attacker never touched”. Hold onto that. It can be a great comfort.

I am a rape survivor, now 18 and still on the long winding road to recovery battling many mental illnesses, I’m not there yet, but I will get there. Say that over and over in your head and soon you will start to believe it.

Hi, exbooozehound again, a VERY courageous young lady who I am VERY proud to know, so powerful, so important that we get this shared and read as many people as possible, please comment if you can and share, share, share if you can.

Here’s a link to my YouTube page

Negative Experiences

Hi, thank you for taking the time to watch the vlog “Them and us doesn’t work” and for taking the time to let me know your negative experiences.

I have built quite a network of people who can actually make changes and decisions and YOUR experiences will make a difference!!!!

Hit the “leave a comment” link (under the page title) You can post anonymously, your email address WILL NOT be shared, you will be asked to solve a little sum to prove you’re not a robot and I will have to accept the post before it’s shared on here.

“Them and us doesn’t work” and will NEVER work!!!!

all of us 2day2gether for a better 2morrow

Please add Country & Borough eg England, Dudley

So here it is Merry Christmas….

(This post starts in a very negative way, but I promise it gets better)

So here it is Merry Christmas….

So here it is Merry Christmas

Erm…. We f’ing know it’s been coming since f’ing October!!!!

Everybody’s having fun

I can guarantee that’s not f’ing true….

Look to the future now

Are you f’ing joking, I have no future…. (Apart from more horrible demon fighting years)

It’s only just begun

Fuck off!!!!

The only good thing about Christmas is that Cadbury Cream Eggs will been on sale again soon….

Yup, Christmas is here and I’m really in the Christmas mood…. Mood being the key word!!!!

I’ve just googled “what’s Christmas about” the result was as below: –

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The birth of Jesus…. And nobody is actually sure when he was born….

I know…. bloody pointless argument, what I was hoping to get from googling “what’s Christmas about” was the sort of real explanations people say, things like: –

1. It’s all about the kids
2. Relaxing with family and friends
3. Enjoying a break with family and friends
4. Presents and parties
5. Good food and drink

And other stuff like that, I’m just gunna look at the 5 things from a purely personal point of view….

1. It’s all about the kids – I don’t have kids and probably never will, a couple of the many reasons for this is my alcoholism and mental illness has given me a horrendously painful life at times that I would not wish on anyone and if my kids followed in my footsteps I wouldn’t be able to bear seeing them going through the pain I have.

2. Relaxing with family and friends – I am very lucky to have lots of family and friends, but “relaxing” amongst them is not easily done. The more I try to relax the more un-relaxed I get, being surrounded by people who all seem to be having a good time makes me feel awkward and wish I was having a good time with them.

3. Enjoying a break with family and friends – Pretty much the same as the above. Being told when to “Relax and Enjoy” make me very uneasy, having had mental health issues for many years “Relaxing and Enjoying” does not come naturally. Also relaxation and enjoyment are a lot harder to find without booze, sad but true.

4. Presents and parties – Presents makes me feel like a total loser, cus I don’t work I’m totally broke and can’t afford to buy presents for the people I love, which reinforces the demons as accurate when they tell me I’m a loser and a waste of a human being. Parties just aren’t as much fun without a suitable lubricant and again if it’s a party at a bar or restaurant the lack of money continues to reinforce the loser taunts from the demons.

5. Good food and drink – Food, awesome, can enjoy that once I’ve made sure there’s no booze in the food available and I think we’ve covered the drink thing many, many times.

Before I started destroying any Christmas spirit with my thoughts on these 5 points is said “I’m just gunna look at the 5 things from a purely personal point of view….” Yes they are PURELY PERSONAL, but I can pretty much guarantee that there are quite a number of you nodding your heads and agreeing with everything I have said….

Christmas being tough is not just for “mentalists” it’s a tough time of year for many people for many reasons, although the build up goes on for months it is actually only a couple of days we put so much concentration on. Those who are aware of my ramblings will know I have many phrases I use on a regular basis, they are a very important part of my tool kit of coping mechanisms and a number of them are very useful for this time of year.

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

“There ain’t nothing we can’t handle…. Eventually!!!!”

“It is what it is”

“Shit happens”

“grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference”

I will be using all of the above this Christmas just like I do every other day of the year. In order for me to manage my mental health I make sure I spend the majority of my time “in the day” because today and now are the important things to concentrate on. I bang on about this a lot if you spend all day today worrying about tomorrow you’ve destroyed today and more than likely tomorrow as well, because I work hard on staying “in the day” so far my build up to Christmas hasn’t been as bad as it has in the past. Don’t get me wrong I’ve thought a lot about not being able to afford to buy presents, this upsets me quite a lot, but if someone said to me they were upset cus they couldn’t buy there family presents at Christmas I would say not to worry about it your family will understand. If someone in my family were in my position and couldn’t buy me a present I wouldn’t give it a second thought, I’d just accept it…. “It is what it is” “shit happens”. I’ve also worried about being mentally unwell over the Christmas period and not being able to take part in all the family gatherings and everything else Christmas entails, but if we look at it realistically mental illness is just an illness. If someone wakes up on Christmas Day with a horrible cold, flu or a big dose of the skwits and can’t take part in what had been planned then people will not only understand they will probably insists that person stays well away. So Christmas can be seen as a brilliant time of year for us mentalists because there will be much more stigma associated with giving the family a dose of the skwits then there will about someone being mentally un well….

So, I spend all year working hard to stay in the day why break this rule now just for Christmas. Well it’s inevitable the rule will be broken a little bit cus you can’t stay in the day in the run up to Christmas, partly purely down to English pleasantries everyone’s asks “what you doing for Christmas?” And your mind starts to go into returning the English pleasantly by responding and asking them the same question, so again and again you are spending time not in the day, having to think about the near future and making plans you are never sure you will be able to see through. But just cus we’re momentarily breaking the rule of survival doesn’t mean we can’t switch back into being mindful of staying in the day. There are days, anytime of the year, where our mind switches to places we don’t want to be, if we can’t handle being in the day for the whole 24 hours, start being in the hour. Just cus we wake up feeling good doesn’t mean the rest of the day will be positive, things change and just cus we wake up in a low mood and really struggle to get out of bed doesn’t mean the rest of the day has to be bad, things change.

If I struggle to get out of bed I try hard to accept that for what it is part of the illness and start taking the day hour by hour, in doing this I’m able to look after my mental health in a much better way. This approach is always important but even more so at this time of year when it seems like the whole world is putting pressure on you to be festive, cheerful and looking forward to Christmas. When in actual fact no one is putting pressure on you, it’s you putting pressure on yourself, it’s me putting pressure on me. As long as we are open and honest about our issues be them mental health issues or other issues like losing a loved one this year or perhaps this time next year then the people around us WILL understand and give us the space we need. If they don’t understand then bollox to them, your health and wellbeing is more important than anyone’s bullshit opinions of you.

This next bit is gunna test my spelling…. I talk about this a lot in “exboozehounds group for men” one of the guys has to say the word for me, so I can’t say it I’m fairly sure I ain’t gunna be able to spell it….

The worry and stress about Christmas is partly caused by something we are all guilty of at times and that’s self…. (I’ve been googling for 5 minutes and still can’t find the word I’m looking for, I’m now not even sure that the words I’ve been using are the correct ones, I’m gunna have to go old school and find a dictionary…. Grrrrr) (no joy with the dictionary either…. Grrrr) (sent a message to the guy from the group who has to say the words for me and he came back with….) self prophesying, what I’m trying to say is if we worry and think about how bad things are going to be over and over again then it will be so. Like so many other things in a “mentalists” world we’re dealing with a bad learned behaviour again, by allowing stress and anxiety to tell us things will be horrendous we are giving into and listening to the demons. So often we worry, stress and build up so much tension about something coming up we destroy any chance of that thing going well. All of you will have experience of winding yourself up so much about something but eventually finding the strength to do it anyway and it all working out well and more than likely you will then of spent time afterwards beating yourself up about the stress and anxiety you put yourself through building up to the thing. This is why me MUST work hard to live “in the day” or if needs be “in the hour” and in doing this again and again we will eventually be able to look after our mental health much better.

Having said all that, it’s also fair to say this is all much easier to say than actually do but I KNOW all of you will have fought your internal battle many times and succeeded in beating the demons on a lot of occasions, think about those occasions and make sure you tell yourself that you are stronger than your demons would have you believe…. FACT!!!!

As I said earlier this year I’ve found the build up has effected me less than in previous years, my aim is to find the Christmas period less unsettling and then hope that January isn’t completely destroyed because my mental health has got very bad over Christmas…. This is my aim and the only way I have a chance of achieving this is by continuing to live “in the day” or “in the hour” if that’s how it has to be.

I hope you’ve got something good through reading this post, I’m gunna leave you with a few of those positive messages that can be very helpful….

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Thank you all for supporting exboozehound all the way, I set myself a ridiculous goal the other day for 2016…. Nothing ventured nothing gained…. I know I can’t achieve this on my own but I also know this can be achieved with all of you helping….

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (good luck)

“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)



Peer Support Meeting

Hiya, on Friday I went to the meeting (poster below. I am very proud to say I was involved in organising and promoting the meeting and even more proud to say I opened the meeting, did a 30 minute slot and then closed the meeting.

 

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When we were putting this meeting together our aim was to get as many “service users” there as possible, we weren’t sure how many would find the strength to attend but we were very happy with the turnout, in total about 70 people came along and approximately 30 of those were service users and even more brilliantly a good number of the service users got involved both vocally and engaged with the scoping exercise where we asked 7 questions: –

Scoping Exercise Questions
Each question to be written on flip chart displayed around the room
1. Can you describe what peer support means to you?
2. What would you like to know about peer support?
3. Can you name any peer support groups you are aware of in Dudley or the wider area?
4. What are your concerns/ worries regarding peer support?
5. What would encourage you to get involved in peer support?
6. What would you like to happen following the event today?
7. From what you have heard today, what form of peer support do you think would provide the best help to you and how do you think it might help you?

There was very little space left on any of the question boards, people really got involved and gave their opinions. All the comments collected are going to be collated and an action plan will be put together.

I opened the meeting with the following: –

ABOUT ME

Published 24th October 2013

Hi, my name is Jon I am “exboozehound” 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.

Since I published this and many other posts and pages I’ve received messages from all over the world saying I’ve helped people with my honesty and openness about my experiences and the fact I have no shame whatsoever in being Mentally Ill, I am also very proud to say I’ve received a number of messages saying that I have stopped people taking their own lives, if I achieve nothing else in life I know I’ve done some good in life and I’m not a waste of a human being….(as the demons like to tell me)

You know now I’m a “service user” just like some of you guys. I don’t even want to imagine where I would be right now after my mental breakdown in June 2013 if I hadn’t been inspired and chose to fight back and never stop fighting, possibly in a loony bin or more than likely dead (not a nice thing to say but I strongly believe it’s important to talk about suicide & suicidal thoughts openly)

Last week the news was advising the NHS is £1.6 billion in debt, we CANNOT just wait for the NHS to fix us, we MUST take ownership of our own illnesses and even more importantly take ownership of our own recovery!!! We can do this in-part by embracing Peer Support

Of course the cynical side of me and possibly some of you think “of course the NHS wants to promote Peer Support because they are getting it for free using volunteers” BUT, the fact is Peer Support works.

Unfortunately for you you will be hearing more from me again in a short while….

Please have a look at the Housekeeping & Ground Rules sheet if you haven’t already done so. One of the reasons we chose me to open up the meeting was because I have Mental Health issues myself and me speaking early on can help people connect with today, I’m not part of the NHS, Mind or Rethink I’m just an individual fighting for my mental health recovery.

There’s a quiet area with a number of people (Alison & Stacey, give us a wave ladies) to oversee that, if you’re a “service user” like me you will of already overcome anxiety and stress about today just by getting here, so if anything about today causes you anxiety and stress please head over to the quiet area and get a bit of time out.

Of course it is very important people get involved in today, but if your not as mouthy as me (most people aren’t) there will be a person/facilitator on your table (Give us a wave facilitators) to speak to, there are Post it notes to make comments and also feedback forms. Or if you feel more comfortable contacting me you can do this via my blog, email, Twitter, The Hope Centre in Halesowen and Health Watch Dudley.

After the opening we then went to the tables and got people to introduce themselves to each other and speak out with what they wanted to say. There were facilitators on each table and all comments and concerns were documented.

It then came to me again to talk about my experience of the local Mental Health Trust and I decided to go with the following post from right back in November 2013: –

YOU NEED THERAPY THE QUEUE IS 2 MONTHS

I’m not sure this is a good idea but then I have a life degree in doing the wrong thing!

Firstly let me stress that all the people within the NHS system that I have spoken to or seen face to face are amazing, the NHS Mental Health system doesn’t just let us (the ill) down it lets their staff down also.

Of course there is more to this story prior to August but I think that is a good place to start.

In August I was in a meeting with a counselor and she took a phone call it was my GP advising he thought I should be referred to a psychiatrist, she agreed and I was referred. I received my first letter from the “Early Access Service” dated 23rd August advising I would be seeing a Doctor on the 29th October. I then received another letter dated 4th September advising my appointment had been brought forward to the 27th September to see a different Doctor, I thought great they must of realised a 2 month wait was ridiculous. Then I received another letter dated 18th September advising my appointment had changed again to the 1st October, I thought oh well it’s still better than the original date so ok. What I didn’t notice until just before the 1st October the letter no longer advised I was seeing a Doctor I was now seeing a Mental Health Clinician.

At the end of the 2 hour assessment the Mental Health Clinician advised he would refer me to see a psychiatrist a medic and some therapy possibly CBT this decision is exactly what my counselor and GP had decided in August! I have no issue with the guy who was now making this decision he was like all the other people I have met in the system very professional and very caring. I will add at this point that the first counselor I saw back in June was also a Mental Health Clinician so it had taken 4 or 5 months to come to a conclusion we all knew back in June.

The day after my appointment on the 1st October I saw my counselor she advised the point of the referral was to see a psychiatrist and a medic she seemed very surprised I had been seen by a mental health clinician. Diplomatically she said It may of been they were trying to get through the back log they had so rather than me seeing a psychiatrist and medic I saw a mental health clinician in the meantime. My belief was this was just a case of being taken off one list and put on to another.

My counselor advised she would contact the hospital and see what was going on. She contacted me the next day and advised I would be receiving a letter saying I was to see a psychiatrist in November and I would also be hearing from elsewhere about therapy, possibly CBT. I was now on my way to being in Secondary care rather than Primary care. Having not received a letter on the 15th October I sent a text to my counselor (who I was no longer seeing because I had now been passed onto secondary care. There appears to be a No Mans Land between primary and secondary care which isn’t helpful) she called me back later that day to advise my appointment would be the 27th November and a letter was sitting on someones desk, they hadn’t had chance to post it out but it would be sent today. My counselor was brilliant, like everyone else I have met and spoken to.

Also on the 15th October I went back to see my GP, he extended my doctors note for another month and increased my medication from 100 to 150mg’s, he spoke about doing this a couple of weeks before, but didn’t want to do it then as I was soon to see the psychiatrist at the end of September and they would make a judgement on my medication at that point (lol).

Just as an aside because my GP had increased the dosage I had to spend another £7.85 for the extra 50mg, having spent £7.85 at the weekend for the 100mg. £15.70 is not a huge amount of money but it equates to 4.3% on that months SSP income of £364.00.

During my appointment with my GP on the 15th October I told him that on Sunday the 13th October I have made the decision to kill myself, I had been having a lie down because the buzzing in my head was driving me mad. I got out of bed and got dressed to go out and throw myself off a car park. This is not a nice subject but it is a fact I have suicidal thoughts all the time but they are just thoughts, this time it was different I had specifically gone out to get it done, but first I had to go and say goodbye to my cats. Spending a little time with the cats calmed me down. I know suicide is not the answer “it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” and I am pretty sure I wouldn’t actually be able to do it but at that point when I left to see the cats it was a horrible scary real plan.

On the 18th October I received a phone call from a local mental health centre, they had received a fax from my GP advising he was concerned about me, again good people within the system doing good things, we spoke for about 40 minutes and during this time I was given a “crisis” number to call. The only time I had used a “crisis” number before unfortunately I called it during the day and it only operates after 5pm so my mistake. I was given another number to call so called it but I couldn’t speak to anyone there because I wasn’t known to them, they gave me another number, I called this number to be entirely honest I cant remember what happened with this number but it was either voice mail, engaged or unanswered, not very helpful!! But this time I had been given a number to call at any time by a very helpful very caring person so I felt good about this number.

On the 25th October I was in a state, feeling really unwell and desperate so I called the number I had been given. I got an automated message advising “the mailbox is full and you cannot leave a message” I don’t think there is a person out there that will think this is acceptable?

On the 21st October I had made a complaint to the Early Access Service Team, in fairness to them they initially responded very promptly, I was advised that someone would call me to discuss the situation. I declined this call and pointed out I wasn’t well enough to receive a call and felt that they knew this and that’s why they wanted to call me because they would be able to walk all over me (probably unfair to think this but that is what my thoughts were at the time). They responded by advising they understood and would write to me. I received their letter on the 11th November, the letter was dated 24th October and the envelope (which I have kept) is date marked 8th November, it would appear it took 2 weeks to post the letter to me!! There is another little story here that I will skip for now, I have written another complaint email and have been advised it is being processed as a “formal complaint”.

Unfortunately this “formal complaint” doesn’t end there, sorry!!

On the 28th October I received a letter from Therapeutic Recovery Services advising me to call them to arrange an assessment for possible further interventions. I called the number on the letter on Tuesday the 29th October, you can only call them Tuesday to Thursday between 8:30am and 12 noon and the letter advises to speak to a specific person. The phone was answered and I asked for the specific person and was advised “I don’t think “name” works here with us”. I couldn’t handle that, a well person would of been able to challenge that response by explaining the letter they had in their hand but at that point I couldn’t. I tried the number another seven times over the next 2 days and it was always engaged. I had now missed that weeks window to call.

On the 5th November I called the number again and asked for the specific person the answer I got was “”name” doesn’t work here”. This time I had more about me, anger, and explained the letter I had. I was advised the specific person worked elsewhere and was given the correct phone number. So I called the new number I now had, there are details in this phone call that for now I don’t want to include, but the basic details being the letter had been sent out by someone else on the wrong letter heading with the wrong number on. Yes, a very basic mistake that anyone could make but on top of everything else not very helpful and indeed a hindrance to my mental health. The outcome of this phone call was I now had an appointment for an assessment on the 11th November. The person I did speak with, eventually, was fantastic very helpful and I received the letter the next day.

11th November I went to my assessment, the lady I saw was brilliant. These people are very good at what they do she managed to get me to talk about things I hadn’t talked about before and realise things I hadn’t thought of before and this is within an hours assessment. Another fantastic professional within a pathetic, not fit for purpose system. We discussed various therapy options and at the end of the assessment she advised she would write to me and recommend I had a certain type of therapy which I was happy about. I then asked “what is the waiting list time” and was told it would probably start in January……. hence the title of this post “You need therapy the queue is 2 months”.

I have complained again, I don’t like complaining and it probably sounds pathetic but it is very difficult to write complaints and make phone calls when not well. i started this post at about 10:30 this morning and it is now 15:36. I don’t want to jump any queues, in fact my Dad has offered to pay for a private psychiatrist appointment, but I believe I have to see this through. This may be me being delusional but I want to do all I can to ensure other people receive better treatment in the future.

The government want people off benefits and in work, I have a job but I am signed off and my SSP runs out at the end of this year at which point I will have to claim for ESA. I don’t want to be on benefits but another one of the governments “systems” is ensuring I will be on benefits for a while.

Thank you for sticking with this post, i’m sorry it goes on and on but I will end it with a simple question…….

Is the above acceptable?

Keep smiling :)

I followed this up with: –

What I wrote in November 2013 and have just read to you is not exactly a positive endorsement of the NHS. I’m sure many of you have similar stories (I’m currently in an 18 week waiting lists for psychology, which has so far taken 22 weeks…. I have an assessment next week and have already been advised in the letter offering me the assessment,  “there will be a wait of a few months before this will begin”….

I hear stories like this and worse all the time, in fact on Wednesday this week I had a message from someone who is concerned about a friend who is very depressed and suffering big panic attacks and her counselling doesn’t start until February.

So I’m standing here in front of a fair number of people from Dudley & Walsall Mental Health Trust, people from the council and a number of Third Sector groups and I’m being very negative.

The reason for this is to introduce what I and a lot of people believe is one of THE ways forward and that’s PEER SUPPORT, we MUST have peer support setup from start to finish as soon as someone’s GP says I’m referring you to a counsellor, if the wait is a matter of weeks or months Peer support is very important and it must be made available to everyone.

Peer support can be a group of people meeting, it can be one on one meetings, it can be social media, it can be available and should be available in as many formats as possible. We don’t all fit into a perfect box, we are all individuals and all our needs are individual and the professionals should NEVER forget that and we have to make sure they NEVER do.

I run a group called “exboozehounds group for men” down at the Hope Centre in Halesowen, it bothers me a bit that it’s a group solely for men, but for some it has to be this way to allow the guys and me to be completely open and honest…. Who knows moving forward I could setup a group for all if there is a call for it and I’d be happy to do that….

As I said when I first spoke “ I don’t even want to imagine where I would be right now after my mental breakdown in June 2013 if I hadn’t been inspired and chose to fight back and never stop fighting, possibly in a loony bin or more than likely dead (not a nice thing to say but still very important to talk about openly)” They say the hardest thing is to ask for help…. well “they” whoever they are are very wrong…. The hardest thing is to ask for help and receive nothing or be told you will get some help but it won’t be for at least 2 months.

At the very first meeting putting today together there were 2 “service users”, me and one other. This brave guy spoke up and said he was getting no help whatsoever, he was neither in primary or secondary care and he felt completely and utterly lost…. sitting on his right was someone from Primary Care and on his left was someone from Secondary care and both these people said they would look at his file…. Since then I have spoken with this guy and he has visited my group, because he was strong and brave and spoke out in that meeting he is back in the system and being offered therapy and support. For me there is no bigger endorsement for peer support than that….

I’m gunna end with my current mantra.

We have to own our illness and more importantly we have to own our recovery, we can’t sit back and wait for the NHS to fix us we have to fight back for ourselves and find the help we need and the help we need NOW…. not in 6 weeks or 3 months…. NOW. Believe me I know how hard this is, the effort it takes for me sometimes to attend meetings and speak out actually makes me un well, but also sitting at home and festering makes me un well as well…. personally I would rather be un well because I’ve tried to do something positive for myself or someone else.

This is where my motto comes in a motto  I am very proud to say there are people all over the world that have told me they use my motto on a regular basis….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

We KNOW bad times will come, that’s part of the game we play with our demons but we also know that every time we have played that game we have won. We know we have won because we are here and when those demons try to destroy us again and again in the future we will win again and again and again….

For me Peer support is all about “us” and “them” working together, owning our recovery and helping us realise we are not alone….

Fortunately my 30 minute slot seemed to go down pretty well, no-one fell asleep or started throwing things at me anyway….

As well as then going through the scoping exercise with the 7 questions above we were very fortunate to have a lady called Amanda from Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council who gave an overview of the Mental Health Self-Support Groups they have in place and have been working with for 20 years. I think it is safe to say people in the room were very impressed with the dedication and the results achieved in Wolverhampton. I’ve spoken with Amanda since and today when I spoke with someone from secondary care at Dudley & Walsall Mental Health Trust I stated the obvious that we should ensure we continue to speak with Wolverhampton VSC and learn from them.

We then had an overview of what the people in the room had said in answer to the 7 questions and any other comments there was some amazing stuff, people really got involved. After another period of discussions the question was put to the room “can we have a show of hands of those here who want to be involved in these Peer Support meetings moving forward?” The response was amazing, over 3/4’s of the room put there hands up, bloody amazing!!!! it then came back to me to close the meeting, I’d forgotten I was supposed to be doing this and fortunately for everyone in the room I hadn’t prepared anything, or perhaps unfortunately as I do have a tendency to go on a bit…. I closed the meeting with a massive amount of positivity, to have seen how involved everyone had got and how many people wanted to continue the journey was truly satisfying and amazingly positive for the near and distant future of Mental Health well being in Dudley & Walsall.

During the breaks I was introduced to some really brave people who had gone through a lot of anxiety and stress to get to the meeting a number of them will be hopefully coming to “exboozehounds group for men” at The Hope Centre. I have phoned someone since Friday who was at the meeting but left early due to anxiety, I also spoke with someone who’s husband is pretty much housebound due to depression and anxiety and I’ve said I will go and see him at home. These are two more examples of Peer Support, Peer Support can be one to one, face to face, on the phone, social media, groups of people together, there really is no limit to what Peer Support can do and can be.

To bring all this back to reality, although I am very proud to have been involved in this meeting as much as I have it has had an adverse effect on my health (not after sympathy!!). Over the weekend I have done an awful lot of sleeping, although I was very happy to be able to go to the cinema with my brother and nephew on Saturday, I really enjoyed that but as soon as I got home I had an overwhelming feeling of depression (again not after sympathy!!) just being honest and realistic. For me a lot about being in control of our mental health issues is keeping on a level, this in part is done with medication, every time there is a high point in my life it is followed by what feels like a very low point, when in fact it is just the process of coming back to earth, back to reality, back to the level we get used to. Just like in a “Normals” life there are ups and downs we need to recognise this and develop more and more coping mechanisms to deal with the perceived down before it gets out of control.

Thank you for making it to the end of this post, I hope you found it interesting and inspiring….

Mantra time again….

“We have to own our illness and more importantly we have to own our recovery, we can’t sit back and wait for the NHS to fix us we have to fight back for ourselves and find the help we need and the help we need NOW…. not in 6 weeks or 3 months…. NOW.”

“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)




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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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)

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//

Promises we can’t make

A couple of days ago I was asked a question by DM on Facebook and received a phone call from someone who lives quite a distance away…. The question was

“Ladies name”, she asked me when she can stop worrying about drinking. I couldnt answer, thought you might have an answer?

My answer was….

Bloody good question!!!! Unfortunately I don’t think there is an answer to that question. How long you not had a drink for?

It doesn’t really matter what his answer was to that but it was a good few weeks.

He then gave me a call from the other side of the world, we spoke for about 10 minutes. During those 10 minutes I was still unable to answer the question. 🙁

Maybe if I was A LOT more intelligent I would be able to answer this question, but intelligence really isn’t my strong point, so I will answer the question in my usual style…. Yup by talking quite an amount of bollocks 😉

These days I seem to be a liked person, oddly when I’m speaking with people from a good while back I’ve always been a liked person, odd really when I have pretty much always hated me. I like me these days, but in my drinking days I was an arsehole for many many reasons!!!! Being an alcoholic was actually very good training for my time spent in sales cus it taught me how to lie and manipulate pretty much any situation. I still have a natural manipulation streak in me but I believe most of my manipulation these days is fairly positive. Positive for both the manipulator (me 🙂 ) and the manipulated (possibly you, soz).

So, when can a loved one stop worrying about you drinking? For me that doesn’t depend on the drinker, it depends on the person with the drinker, it also depends on trust and being realistic, sorry but it does. In my view there is always a possibility that a drinker will drink again, when I used to go to AA there were people that had been soba for 20+ years and for one reason or another would start drinking again. If I did drink again my reason would be very simple “booze is glorious” it made me feel amazing, I loved it!!!! I still miss it!!!! From time to time I think about buying some of the liquid of gloriousness and having a sneaky one, who’d know?…  Fucking everyone would know, cus I’m 99% sure oblivion would be the next stop on this journey. Although I really don’t like AA and it’s cultish, brainwashing, simply swapping addiction ways there is actually quite a bit of useful stuff to be gained from AA and one of those things for me is a saying….

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

Another one of those things is step one….

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

These 2 sentences are probably about 80% of all I need to keep me soba the other 20% is mainly the fact that I’m a stubborn c**t and I know out of the 5 or 6 people in my group in the Woodbourne Priory I was the one that people “knew” wouldn’t be able to do it, so part of me keeps doing it to prove them wrong and perhaps to prove there is no “one” solution to getting soba it’s as individual as the drinking ways you are trying to get away from.

There will always be reasons why I could drink again, and if there isn’t a reason I’ll just bloody make one up…. Simply and purely cus I am an alcoholic that loves booze and the feeling of oblivion….

If you have a loved one who is trying to remove there addiction from there life, please don’t ask them to promise anything, cus let’s face it most of us addicts are or have been lying, cheating, manipulative horrible scum bags at periods of our lives and we are all capable of doing it again. Is any of what I am saying fact? Nope, it’s just my honest opinion. I haven’t read any big books (partly cus as I said before intelligence really isn’t my thang) I haven’t got any certificates, I haven’t got any letters after my name, I don’t earn a huge salary for doing very little, I’m not a self important stuck up arsehole that hasn’t actually got any real life experience of addiction and how it feels….

I’m just a mouthy numpty who has 16 years of drinking experience and 11 years of sobriety and these are just my thoughts based on my horrendous and wonderful experience of the glorious devils liquid that is booze….

Unfortunately I’m gunna have to end with another one of those goods things from AA….

“How long you have been soba isn’t important, all you can do is take one day at a time” (summit like that anyway)

If you are trying to remove your addiction from your life, be realistic take it one day at a time and if you have a blip that’s all it is a blip. Perhaps a couple of hours, maybe just a couple of drinks if you’re lucky, you can’t beat yourself up about your blip cus it will give you an excuse to spiral out of control and keep drinking cus “you can’t live without booze in your life” and “it’s the only way you can cope with life” Bollocks if I can do it anyone one can do it….

“There ain’t nothing you can’t do…. Eventually!!!!”

Keep going 😉

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

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




Feeling Odd

I’m finding it incredibly hard to write stuff at the moment, I’m not sure why?

I’m finding it very difficult to pick my camera up at the moment, I’m not sure why?

I’m finding it almost impossible to work out why I am struggling with a few things and I’ve worked out what to do about it….

Nothing!!!! Well not quite nothing….

I wrote a piece for Governance International the other day and emailed it off fully expecting them to email back saying it was utter bollox, but they emailed back to say various things including:-

I’m absolutely delighted, this is great!….
This gives us a good reason to get back to the network with your blog in August….
Many thanks again for your great contributions, really appreciate your good thoughts and work!….

I’ve dropped someone a message today to say I need to check out the venue for their wedding party so I can get an idea of the lights and camera setting options for the night, to make sure I do the job right…. and I will, I always do…. That may sound a little big headed, but the fact is I’m a good photographer, I’m able to see what makes a good photograph and what doesn’t, I’m talented enough to rely on my own style and individual way I shoot….

Confused????

Me as well!!!!

I think what I’m trying to say is, Yes I currently have a downer on myself and I am doubting myself a lot but that’s just the little demon in the back of my noggin that still tells me I’m a waste of a human being, tells me I could drink again and be fine, tells me I’m wasting mine and everyone else’s time with exboozehound and complaining to and about the NHS, tells me I’ll never be truly happy, etc etc, basically that little bastard of a demon is still there telling me I’m as useful as a chocolate tea pot…. The difference these days is I know that demon is wrong and I know it ain’t as powerful and stubborn as me….

So, as I move forward EVERYTHING I set my mind to I WILL make it work, yes I’ll doubt myself along the way but I know those doubts are bullshite…. Anyone who can battle against booze for 11+ years and depression/Mental Illness for 20+ years and keep on going can do anything they want to with the right dedication, hard work and perhaps a sprinkling of luck….

So watch this space….

Jon aka exboozehound is going places, get on board now while there’s still room 🙂 😉

It took me a while to work out what the title of this post was gunna be cus, as usual, I didn’t really know what I was gunna write, I’ve had so many things “Buzzing” through my noggin today, some of them good, some of them bad, some of them out of order and some of them down right horrendous…. I spent a bit of time trying to work out why today and the last couple of days have been so changeable and then I thought about something I’ve said on here before and I’ve said to quite a number of people in private. THE QUESTION WHY?, IS A POINTLESS AND PRETTY MUCH UNANSWERABLE QUESTION, SO DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION….

I have a couple of things that I think may of put me in a changeable place but I will never know if it is to do with those various things and constantly thinking and rethinking about shite ain’t gunna change a thing, all it will do is drive me/you bonkers and tire me/you out and we need our energy for more important things.

The other thing we need to consider as a reason for being in a changeable place at the moment is simply cus I’m human and I guess all humans whether they are “odds” or “evens” have up n down / changeable times but as an “odd” we can very easily spiral into utter madness if we don’t catch ourselves early enough. So simply we have to look for those “triggers” (always hated this word, but now FINALLY I understand it) and react to them with tried and tested coping mechanisms or if those tried and tested ways don’t work, come up with some new ones. For whatever reason today I felt angry and aggressive, I felt strange mental but physical pain, I felt shots of non existent physically painful thoughts, I felt I wanted to get some glorious booze down my neck, I felt shy, I felt outgoing, I felt “odd”, I felt “even”…. think you might have the point now, so I walked down to the squash court and had 40 minutes on the court taking my anger and frustration out on the ball. At the end of it I thought to myself “That aint made a difference I’m still hacked off, etc, but there was a difference and that difference was simply I got off my backside and did something about it, yes probably simply a distraction technique but I didn’t fester and feel sorry for myself which I am very very capable of doing.

Is there a point to this post????

Yes, but I’m not fully sure what it is….

Someone said to me at the weekend you don’t look ill, you seem a nice bloke…. Fact is I am a nice bloke and I am ill but the 2 things don’t have to be separate. (I’m not proud of this next bit!!!!). I’ve said this before but people expect people with a Mental Illness, whatever that Mental Illness might be, to look bonkers and and down trodden. For me this is because mentally ill are usually portrayed as the “Victims of Life” those weirdo’s that were picked on at school, those weirdo’s that talk to themselves as they walk along or sit in a boozer, perhaps they rock backwards and forward a bit and of course they will have absolutely no dress sense (mind you I have none of that!!!), all these things are an absolute load of bollox!!!! It’s the same as peoples perceptions of “the alcoholic” that’s the unwashed, homeless, filthy, smelly person that kips in the park…. again absolute load of bollox. Yes I’ve exaggerated the stereo types for effect but believe me some of the conversations I have are not very far away from this at all!!!! Sad but true!!!!

There are loads of people out there struggling everyday with Mental Illness and Substance misuse, but like I did they hide the extent of it for far too long to avoid the shame of being a failure at life or life as we are taught to understand. They hide it to avoid the Stigma that goes with Mental Illness, you might think the stigma doesn’t exist anymore but it does, yes people talk about it more now but the negative stigma is still VERY VERY strong whether it be direct or indirect stigma. I know there are people hiding it out there because I have quite a few people that tell me they are hiding. They feel if they come out of the “Odd” closet they will lose there Job, home, car etc and unfortunately they probably will…. eventually. Unless they get it early enough coming out as “odd” will destroy your life, well the life we are all taught we MUST have. Do yourself or a loved on a favour….

Get help now!!!!

Be honest with yourself now!!!!

Don’t wait to get to the stage when your Noggin goes Pop, like I did, cus once you get to that stage and then have to wait months and months for the NHS to offer you any help you will lose everything. I am a failure at the life that we are taught we must aspire to. I’m 41, I have no house, no job and my car cost £250, I have no Wife, Girlfriend, Children and this is not likely to change anytime soon. I haven’t said this for your sympathy cus I am trying very hard to put a number of things together to give me a successful “alternative” life, it’s bloody hard work when your noggin cant be arsed to keep up with your passion and heart but I KNOW I’m going to make everything I’m trying to do work, guaranteed, one way or another!!!!

Mental Illness and Addiction are nothing to be ashamed of, they are simply illnesses that some of us have, more of us than you would believe, if you have issues you are hiding, stop hiding them before they destroy or kill you, get help now and I mean now. You will probably have to fight for that help and the process of any help you get will be bloody hard work but it will be worth it. Nothing will fix you over night and I can tell you now I’m not fixed, I still have a long way to go but I dont think about the journey ahead I don’t think about the journey I’ve travelled so far all that much either. I just concentrate on the now and even though the recent now is up n down, changeable, and painful at times most of the time now is good. It will be for you as well if you put the effort in and fight back!!!! 🙂

Keep going 😉

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

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




I’ve been told today…..

I’ve been told today…..

Since my noggin doc appointment on Monday I haven’t been very well, partly through exhaustion (I know pathetic I don’t even work!!), partly through anger, partly through fear, partly through new meds (I like the new meds they make me feel very very relaxed, almost high 🙂 ).….

Let’s be honest there are many many reasons for me not being very well the main one being that I am mentally ill, so I’m gunna stop mulling it over in my noggin and I’m gunna blast a few things out randomly and then see what happens…..

I’ve been going down hill for weeks and fighting it
I’ve been getting frustrated with people (I now know that was me frustrated with me)
I’m scared what an actual diagnosis will do to my noggin
I’m scared I’ll never be able to work again
I’m scared I’ll never be “fixed”
I’m scared I don’t know who I am (cus I’ve not been me for so long I’ve been “Jon”)
I’m scared no one will ever be able to love me and trust me
I’m scared, I’m frightened, I’m pathetic, I’m not man enough

Oh yes and I’m feeling sorry for myself!!!!

Yes, I’ve been going down hill and fighting it because that’s what us mentalists do, we fight!
Yes, I’m frustrated at me, that’s good because I’m frustrated cus I know I’m better than this!
Who gives a shite about an actual diagnosis, book monkeys ain’t got a clue anyway!
Work, well if it comes to it and you can’t work again, fuck it, it is what it is!
Fixed, fixed doesn’t exist, everybody out there is bonkers they just don’t know it yet!
Who am I? I’m a good person, that’s all that matters!
If no one can trust and love me, then tough….. Shit happens!
Scared, no your not! Frightened, no your not! Pathetic, no your not! Man enough, yes you fucking are!

Right, that solves that…. Doesn’t it?

Nope!

I’m gunna feel a little sorry for myself for a bit, I won’t be smiling all the time, I might even keep my gob still for a bit and reflect or maybe I’ll #ReevaluateAdaptChange …. Again….

I have been told today that I need to concentrate on myself which I’m going to do.

The amazing person who told me this also said many other amazing things to me which I am going to keep to myself, all I will say is it was exactly what I needed to hear, so thank you, you have just stopped a Nutjob going into a full meltdown xx

Oddly I’ve had a couple of DM’s on Twitter today that have given me more fight and belief, I hope you will get something from them aswell….

Anon 1

I will RT your mission re: mental illness Xxxxxx You’re RockStar Jon, bravo!

Me
Thank you…. RockStar? I wish xx
How’s things your end? X

Anon 1
Things busy in NYC & I’m not fond of summer. Ok if not RockStar then Lord of Raomi Land (Raise awareness on mental illness) xxo

…that’s as witty as I get at 6:31 am NYC time…. Sorry I did not see your message until just now. Have a great day Jon.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

These words blew me away! How amazing for someone to take their time to say that to me!!

Anon 2

I normally hate it when people turn my stuff into “their stuff”, but I’m going to do exactly that here…
For the past 20 years ish I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks with nobody ever really knowing why, and tbh that was my own fault, I’ve spent time having different therapies – inc a month at the priory as an in-patient after a catatonic breakdown, and although it helped I still wasn’t “well”…
Last year again I was back on meds and I finally got regular weekly counselling on the NHS. I don’t know what was different about this counsellor, but after 20 years I was finally honest about everything. My ex husband had been abusive in the worst ways but the long mental abuse really fucked me up (lol)… anyway.. point is, that after only 16 sessions of nhs counselling I’m now a different person. I genuinely now believe that if you stick at it long enough eventually you will meet a healthcare professional who u will click with and who can get you to unlock all the crap. Don’t get me wrong it was hideous and the flashbacks and nightmares were awful BUT if a fucked up nightmare can be “cured” whilst having treatment for cancer, ANYONE can… before treatment I couldn’t even get hugs from my kids round my neck cause it would trigger flashbacks… now I can swing them round my head & shoulders without a worry! I even gave my ex a lift recently without a panic attack.
Keep asking for weekly sessions as tablets only mask what’s going on inside. You CAN get through anything, I can see how strong and determined you are, please just believe in yourself and that you WILL get there 🙂 xx

Me
You are amazing!!!
How do you feel about being quoted on my blog?
Understand if no
I think I’ve met my healthcare professional

Anon 2

I am very NOT amazing lol! Not sure what in my blethering is quotable, but sure lol!
I can see you’re a fighter and have faith in u s’all 🙂

All I can say is inspirational, and thank you x

Right so I’m gunna concentrate on myself for a couple of weeks see if I can get a few positive things moving forward, watch this space?

I need and it is a need not a want, I NEED more guest bloggers, new bloggers, return bloggers, mentalist bloggers, alcoholic bloggers (both active and retired), mentalists and alcoholics victims bloggers, “normal” bloggers etc etc. As I hope you know by now no subject is off the table!!!!

Some of you will be thinking “I wish I could write something, but I can’t” bollox to that yes you can, write something and send it to me…. I wrote something for a friend the other day and he wrote back and told me it was shite…. Well, that’s the point it might not be perfect but it’s what’s in your noggin at the time and what’s in your noggin is more than likely in someone else’s noggin and reading it will help them, writing it will help you so just bloody write it….

Sometimes we have to be told, I’ve been told today and now so have you….

Keep Going 😉

#timetotype
#ReadReplyRetweetRepeatx4
#ReevaluateAdaptChange
#PassionBeliefAcceptance

oh and don’t forget my book

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Got something to say? Yes you have!!!

G’day hope you are all well or even well’ish……

I got a bit thorfull and emotional yesterday and posted a couple of things on Facebook, well if I’m honest I probably posted about 102 posts, think I might be a little addicted to FB and Twitter it’s almost as if I have an addictive personality….. Who’d of thunk it???

image

image

I woke this morning about 5:30am and have been wide awake since then, I have the urge to write something but I’ve decided to keep my gob shut (fingers still) for a change and ask you guys for some more guest posts. There are NO subjects off limits so you can write whatever your heart and noggin wants to.

This will sound a little “ooohhhh look at me” but I don’t really care cus yes I am after attention I want attention for exboozehound so exboozehound can help more people…. Again that sounds a little “ooohhhh look at me” but I have had a lot of private messages saying I have helped people and the words of previous guest posters have helped people as well and we HAVE to keep talking or indeed typing about all this so that no “odd thought” or “mentalist feelings” are kept hidden away, if we hide them they destroy us!!!live streaming film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword online

I was told a new inspirational quote the other day by a new very talented friend and I wanted to share it….

image

Good’un ain’t it?!

Ok get your thinking cap on, strap on a pair and write me summit, something that will inspire people to work everyday to overcome their personal demons. If a proper numpty like me can do it you can do it as well!!!

Keep Going 😉

#timetotype
#ReadReplyRetweetRepeatx4
#ReevaluateAdaptChange
#PassionBeliefAcceptance

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