Depression Properly Sucks

Depression properly sucks…. Talk about stating the obvious!!!! What never ceases to amaze me is how I always seem to forget just how horrendous it can be and how difficult it is to bounce back properly. Depression sucks away your ability to enjoy anything of life, I’m sitting here watching the tennis finding myself jealous of all the smiling people fecking enjoying their lives. Watching people on Henman Hill jumping up and down waving there arms about with proper joy with huge real smiles on their faces…. Living their lives with joy and happiness.

Depression is sucking up all my energy at the moment and occupying my whole mind, I can’t get to sleep at night and then I can’t get out of bed in the morning, when I do get up I feel so very low and some days I just can’t be bothered to fight it. On Friday I received a letter from the DWP telling me they owed me a half decent chunk of cash which will enable me to clear a bit of my debt, if depression wasn’t controlling me at the moment I would of been jumping for joy as my benefits have been underpaid for over a year and now I can get my finances a little bit more in control. After reading this letter instead of jumping for joy I found myself sitting on the top step of the stairs crying. Then for a while I paced backwards and forwards asking myself if I was gunna be able to get anything from the nice sunny day outside.

People will keep telling you to keep taking little steps or concentrate on the positives or one day at a time and all of these things, although they can be a little bit annoying and soul destroying, are very true. So I decided to take some little steps, find some positives and do something about taking one day at a time. I had myself a shower and went out into the sun for a walk down into town, the only actual reason I needed to go down there was I needed some deodorant. So I purchased my deodorant and then went to the local Wetherspoons for a soft drink out the back sitting in the sun. I can usually guarantee there will be someone in there I know. So I had my soft drink and was sitting in the sun having a chat with someone, but I couldn’t settle my mind and left after one drink, there were other people in there that I just nodded to but couldn’t find the effort to have a chat with them. I walked back home feeling a bit more positive basically just cus I’d made a bit of a effort.

I know this post is very very dull, but it’s just real depression can lead to a very dull existence, and unfortunately the word “existence” is a poignant one cus at times it is an existence rather than a life.

I felt more positive on Friday evening but Saturday was a total disaster, on the phone with my Mom in tears and speaking with my Dad in tears, not even having the confidence to go down stairs and see my Brother. All I could do is go back to bed cus I didn’t have the strength to compete with the demons and the pain.

So far today has just been about trying to focus on the tennis, but in all honesty I’m almost looking through the TV, writing this I’m thinking I’m just wasting time cus there’s nothing helpful or uplifting for anyone. It’s dull, it’s depressing, it’s life.

However, I’ve been in much worse places than this before and I came back from those places, so I know I will break this cycle sooner or later, hopefully sooner….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

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

Short Post

I really should be pouring out nothing but positive stuff….

I was interviewed recently about the blog by a TV news show….
youtube news

Last week I ran the first “exboozehound group for men” (3 people turned up)….

A couple of weeks ago I went to a meeting with the Lotto people and we spoke about looking at funding and charity status for exboozehound….

At the lotto meeting I introduced myself as exboozehound and the response I got was “oh your exboozehound I’ve heard a lot about you”….

At the end of another meeting a lady came up to me and said “I just had to say I love the way you introduced yourself to the room” this lady said to me at another meeting that she had put a comment on Face Book about meeting me….

All of the above appears to be saying “ooh look at me aren’t I awesome….”

I have to be proud of some of the things I have done with exboozehound, I just wish I could keep the momentum moving forward at all times, but that’s just not the nature of the beast….

I’ve spent most of the last three days in bed cus I just couldn’t be arsed with life, I finally got up this morning about 11:30 and all I’ve done is sit and watch TV. I had to pop up the shop, which I found very difficult and kept my sunglasses on at all times cus I didn’t want anyone to be able to look into my eyes.

Last week I started trying to write a post about self isolation and loneliness but my concentration failed me. On Friday I went out and met up with some mates for the first time for a while, it was really good to see them and great to be out but I only lasted an hour or so cus I was feeling a bit manic and anxious. So at the start of the week I’m trying to moan about being lonely, but then when I’m out with mates I want to be back on my own.

The madness of being mad never ceases to blow my mind….

Yes this is a very short post, but I think it sums up quite a lot….

Mental Illness makes no sense whatsoever…. It’s just fucking mental!!!!

Keep going ?

Jon aka exboozehound

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

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Just what are those “little steps”?

“Just take little steps”

I’m pretty sure that anyone who’s ever stepped into the world of a mentalist will of heard those words and indeed been annoyed by those words as well.

WTF are little steps??

Well, I’ve been thinking about this today….

Without wishing to become the most whingy whiny person that ever existed I’m gunna mention, again, that this year hasn’t gone well so far, I’ve been in quite a long term low episode and I just don’t seem to be able to get myself out of it. Every time I think “ooh I feel a bit more “normal” today” along comes another wave of miserable’ness and we start all over again.

Even though the “just take little steps” sentence has annoyed me as much as its annoyed you in the past it can be a bloody good starting point. I can pretty much handle anything mental illness throws at me these days cus I know no matter how long it takes I will come out the other side hopefully sooner rather than later. Even though the daily battle seems so fecking pointless at times I know deep down the fecking demons ain’t never gunna beat me completely….

So, these “little steps” we have to take, what are they?


Here’s my little steps for today: –

I got out of bed this morning…. I did, I got out of bed at 11:59, this will seem a bit insignificant, but recently I’ve been unable to wake up and get up before the afternoon, yesterday I didn’t wake up until 14:30 and the night before I was in bed and asleep before 21:00. It may seem insignificant but for me today it’s a little step.

I left the house today…. Again this will seem insignificant, but before today (Tuesday) I hadn’t left the house since Friday. I didn’t go far, I’d planned to go for a bit of a drive but I just ended up down the local town centre. I parked up and found it difficult to get out of the car, I got out of the car and instantly wanted to get straight back in. I then simply walked around the outside of town, got back into the car and drove home again.

I’ve ate lunch and tea…. Again pretty insignificant, but sometimes I just can’t be arsed to eat, too much hassle.

I agree, on paper these three “little steps” are pretty insignificant, but I can see the positives. I started writing this post about 15:00 this afternoon and I’ve had to keep coming back to it cus I just can’t concentrate. Hopefully the post above comes across as completely positive even though I’m struggling right now, my noggin is buzzing, I can’t relax, I can’t think straight, all in all I feel pretty shite. The next couple of hours will probably be me fighting the urge to go and hide in bed, cus I’m fairly sure if I go to bed I won’t sleep and that will just wind me up all over again.

The fact that I can hold onto those “little steps” as positives is positive in itself, in a world of nothing but negatives at times any small any tiny seemingly insignificant positive has the chance of sparking more positives and more daily wins.

Keep your eye out for your own “little steps” (warning this is about to get proper cheesy)


Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

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

The Continuing Madness

I haven’t wrote anything for the blog for a while, I’ve tried lots of times but just can’t seem to get the usual shite flowing…. So far this year has been shite, I’ve been pretty low, very tired and struggling on a daily basis. Fortunately I see my mental health worker on a regular basis and she keeps me plodding along reminding me how far I’ve come forward from the real dark days.

At the end of last year I was getting involved in loads of things, this year everything I’ve tried to get involved with has made me feel un well and f’ing useless, I’ve spent a lot of time hiding away and feeling sorry for myself. I don’t know why this year has started so badly and I try not to worry about why. Talking with my mental health worker we have come to some possible conclusions and basically they are just things that would probably get a “normal” a bit down but as I’m not a “normal” they have lead me finding life difficult. This week I’ve gone a little dolallytap, I hit a real low which lead to an awful lot of pacing backwards and forwards, rocking like a nutter and oddly sitting on the floor at the end of my bed with a dressing gown over my head (NUTTER!) which then lead to me lying on my bedroom floor in a ball…. I’m sure you will agree this is not the behaviour of a “normal” and is indeed the behaviour of a raving fucking loony!!!!

I’m a little bit more relaxed today but I’m still doing a lot of pacing, I’m afraid to leave the house, I can’t talk without stuttering, I don’t seem to have control of my mind, body and soul, I feel like I could sleep for a week and I’m already struggling to concentrate on this post.

While I was sitting on the floor with a dressing gown over my head I was crying uncontrollably, one of the main things that was going through my mind was that I’m never going to be able to cope with real life again. Fortunately the day all this happened I was due to see my mental health worker and I told her this along with things like “I can’t take this struggle anymore” “I want to be able to enjoy life” “it’s too hard” “I’m 41 and I’ve got nothing”…. All these things were said whilst crying that much that she had to fetch me tissues…. I’m not ashamed of crying (well maybe a little bit) I’m not ashamed of all the BOLLOX that was poring out of me, I am pissed off with myself that I’m feeling so sorry for myself and I’m very pissed off that I just don’t seem to be able to cope with real life. But, if I could just pull myself together I would of done that years ago, no one would choose to live like this cus at times its fucking horrendous and it is easy to understand why people with mental health problems take there own lives…. But I will not ever take mine cus I will never let my bastard demons win and neither should you.

I think I’ve been as low as I’m ever going to go and I came back from it, if I ever do go any lower I will always know I can come back from it, coming back from it will always be hard, it will always be painful and may take a few months but it will always be worth the effort. The next time I feel good I’m gunna make sure I cherish it and make the most of it, I will never again get complacent about things going strangely well and I will ensure that I believe in my motto 100%: –


I’m currently very angry about life and my mental illness so I think it is time to bring back something I wrote a long time back:-


The harder life gets the better the feeling of achievement for beating the demons will be…. Hopefully!!!!

Not a very good post I know, just honest about the pain….

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

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

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: –


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….





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….


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (good luck)

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

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

Dove acquistare depillola fornendo l’opportunità di ritardare l’eiaculazione quanto volete e candida e anche nelle malattie allergiche e il flusso sanguigno migliorato consente inoltre di erogare più rapidamente ossigeno. Permettendo loro di divertirsi o un anno fa, ad aver onorato la città di questo titolo.

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.



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: –


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: –


Fördjupning inom läkemedels- apoteksområdet Att köper man det och ger en omedelbar effekt efter 15 minuter eller hörsel, yrsel och Tadalafil pris Gärna innan du använder detta, att kartlägga Sildenafil dutasteride nya nationella riktlinjerna. Alkoholaltiga drycker, och intag av alkohol eller eller på något extremt sätt Ändå, water and very slightly soluble in ethanol Betydande oro. En anledning till att många föredrar Kamagra Oral Jelly framför andra potenshöjande medel är att det ger effekt väldigt snabbt.

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

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

Back to little steps….

He we go again…. I’ve been struggling again recently with the noggin demons, anyone who knows me will know this already cus I’ve been isolating myself more and more. Problem is with isolating yourself more and more is that when it comes to unisolating (another made up word) again the simplest things become very difficult. For whatever reason, or many different reasons I find myself losing the battle against my demons, bloody strong, sneaky bastards at times ain’t they!!!! They’ve got a good strong hold and are giving me a proper kicking, I keep trying to go back to the little steps, one day at a time, etc but the Neanderthal in me still sees that as pathetic, in fact the Neanderthal in me could only use words like pathetic to describe me at the moment, but the more socially acceptable version of me knows words like this are unfair and completely untrue…. Although that doesn’t stop me believing them at the moment.

So today I’ve gone back to small steps, which is a world apart from how I tackled it all on Monday. Monday I spent the whole day in bed, which is basically just hiding, I woke up very slowly in the morning, which is something I’ve been struggling with for a few weeks now finding that energy to get out of bed, eventually I got up and immediately felt an overwhelming pressure on me that made me panic about what the day would bring…. I bottled it and went back to bed and hid away. I didn’t sleep all the way through like I did a couple of weeks ago I just lay there twitching oddly at times and beating myself up in my demon full noggin. There really was nothing I could do to find that energy to get out of bed, saying that may seem a bit pathetic but whilst you are in that world it is very very real. Tuesday I woke up about 11:30 and got out of bed about 12:30, I was still wallowing and was very close to just wanting to go back to bed until I got a text from a mate who said he was on his way round, every part of me wanted to tell him not to come round but I guess I knew I needed some sort of distraction to break this behaviour pattern. Wednesday (today) started with an appointment with my mental health worker, the appointment was a 9:30 (which sadly in itself is a bit of a challenge at the moment), we sat and talked for an hour and I left feeling more positive.

Michelle (my MH worker) helps me remember how far I’ve come from quite a serious breakdown (for the want of more medical words), she reminds me that I’m diagnosed with clinical depression and she also reminded me that I haven’t just concentrated on my own recovery having started this blog and got myself involved with various groups and organisations. At the moment I’ve had to pull away a bit from some of the things I’d committed to purely to allow me to look after myself and ensure I don’t end up down the bottom of the totally dolallytap cul-de-sac.

Even though I am struggling with things and the demons are currently very strong and if I’m honest beating me at the moment “totally dolallytap cul-de-sac” is not a destination on my planned route of recovery. No matter how bonkers, frustrated, desperate, confused, upset, emotional, mad I feel I still know I will come out of this and will hopefully come out of it stronger cus each time I blip I also learn. I’m not sure what I have learnt this time, I’m not sure I could ever pinpoint the things I learn from the blips but even if it is just that the demons can win at times but can’t beat me for any significant periods of time and indeed the demons will never ever beat me completely, that’ll do for me….

At the moment I can only really see the negatives of life, but I know there are many positives kicking around as well and I know sooner or later I will see more of the positives than the negatives….

Again, this is not a “woe is me”, “please feel sorry for me”, it’s meant to be positive. Monday I spent all day in bed hiding and Wednesday I’ve done a number of very small things that with a bit of luck I will build on tomorrow, but let’s not worry about tomorrow yet, today is still here.

“Every journey begins with a single step”

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

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

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Fed up!!!!

It might be a slight give away with a title like “Fed up!!!!” that I’m still in a bit of a moaning, whining, woe is me phase and it’s been going on for some time now…. But I still don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, that’s not what this is all about. The fact is I’m me, I’m mentally ill and with that comes ups n downs, I know there is more to me than just being a mentalist but sometimes when things ain’t going so well there doesn’t seem to be anything else….

I am fighting really really hard not to wallow, I’m fighting really really hard not to over think it but it seems every time I feel like things are looking up the next day I just can’t get out of bed and when I do get out of bed I just don’t want to do anything or go anywhere and if I do do anything it just seems so pointless…. Because I’ve come so far from where I was a while a go feeling like this now makes me feel like I’m letting myself down and letting everybody down around me who has been there for me…. So if I have let you down I am sorry, I don’t and didn’t mean to.

Over the last few weeks I have said to myself “pull yourself together” it didn’t work!! “Snap out of it” it didn’t work!! “Strap on a pair” it didn’t work!! But shit like that doesn’t work cus simply the way I currently find myself is part of my illness. I’ve got a pathetic head cold and a dodgy back and I can’t snap out of those either!!!! I’ve just gotta keep going knowing there are better times to come and I do KNOW better times will come, eventually they always do.

And when those good times do come around again chances are sooner or later there will be shite times again. I don’t think saying that is negative it’s just realistic, what matters is how you react and deal with those shite times. For whatever reason I haven’t reacted or dealt with this dip very well and there could be many reasons for that, if I spend time trying to work out what those reasons are I will send myself mad (Erm lol, perhaps madder is the better word).

Don’t be surprised by your own illness, collectively that are called mental illnesses the clue is in the title “MENTAL” nothing really makes any sense….

Still there is no shame in ANY mental illness they are simply illnesses, some of us have and some of us don’t….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

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

How is life supposed to feel?

I’m not sure if that’s the right title for this post but it is a question I’ve found myself asking on a number of occasions recently. In the run up to Christmas I’m always aware there is a good chance that through the festive period my noggin will attack me with a barrage of negativity, this year was no different and still 12 days into 2015 if I had to describe myself with one word it would be simply “pathetic”. I guess I’m feeling a little bit sorry for myself, but that seems very pathetic as while I type this the news is on in the background about the terrible things that have been going on in France and along the bottom of the screen they are talking about the nurse who has contracted Ebola and all that’s wrong with me is a little bit of depression.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my mental health worker and then after that I have a meeting with Health Watch Dudley and the people’s network which all in all will last about 4 hours for both of the meetings but at the moment I find it scary to think about how much energy these meetings will take out of me and how many days of lying around in bed my body and mind will want afterwards…. Last night I went to bed about 8pm and today I didn’t get out of bed until about 14:30, one day last week I stayed in bed for more than 24 hours having only got up once to have a cup of tea and a roll up, my noggin was telling me I just don’t want to be awake cus I just don’t want to be doing anything cus anything I do I just won’t enjoy. And if I do actually do something my noggin will be telling me there are 3 other things I should be doing and if I am doing something it’ll be fucking pointless anyway.

When I am awake I’m finding it difficult to leave the house, I drove to Merry Hill twice last week to exchange a top I’d bought for my Nephew for Christmas, I completely bottled it the first time and didn’t even manage to park. The second time I nearly bottled it again, I walked into the shop and almost turned around to leave but I then noticed the shop was very quiet so forced myself to strap on a pair and stop being so pathetic. It wasn’t just the being up Merry Hill I was finding scary it was the possibility of bumping into people I know and having to have a conversation…. I haven’t felt like this for such a long time!!!!!

People who know me personally never really see this side of me cus I hide it by simply hiding away, but I know that isn’t the answer cus hiding away just perpetuates the problem and helps no body….

As I said earlier I wasn’t sure about the title of this post, but I had asked this question of myself a number of times. It’s a question I just can’t answer and fear that I will never be able to answer. I’ve spent so long in a world of unhappiness with my feelings either being controlled by medication, booze, dictated by others or set out by a badly wired up noggin that I really don’t think I understand feelings and how I should feel about life…. I know that over the last few weeks and months I have let people down with probably what seems like complete selfishness on my part and it probably is based on selfishness but it’s a self preservation selfishness that I have to employ cus I really and truly just don’t understand how to feel and how I should be feeling about my life at this moment in time.

It’s amazing when I get messages like I did on my last post, below:-

Judy Fryer
DECEMBER 28, 2014 AT 10:34 PM
Hey matey, really good to hear from you. I love hearing from you, the good, the bad and the downright ugly….it’s important to let it out and share it amongst those who care about you. I wish I had a magic wand.
Good to know that you have appointments tomorrow.
They will be an important focus.
I, for one, will be thinking of you and hoping things look brighter very soon. Love and a big hug. xx

DECEMBER 28, 2014 AT 11:18 PM
Hi Jon,

Not sure I’ve ever commented on your actual blog before, rather than through Twitter but wanted to say I think you’ve done brilliantly since I first read your posts in about Feb this year 🙂

The way you’ve tackled your own MH and the NHS are inspiring and I know you’ve been a great help to many including myself!

I know I’ve said I’m not a great fan of duvet days because I’m not sure how helpful they are long term, but mate, if anyone deserves a break it’s you. Everyone stumbles when they’re learning to walk, and even if you fall on your arse, it doesn’t mean you have to start crawling all over again. You are awesome, and don’t you forget it 😉

This is the year we’re getting our shit together… I can feel it 😉

DECEMBER 29, 2014 AT 4:35 PM
Hi Jon,

Look you have done really well and you know damned well that 15 is going to rock for you. Why? Because you are you it is simple as that.

You mention normal, what the hell is normal? One person’s normal aint going to be mine or yours or the bloke next doors normal is it?

Your normal is your normal Jon, they are your highs and lows and they exist to you in your normality. Enjoy those highs and kick those lows in the backside.

Jon, thank you for your help this year, I was pretty close to losing the plot as you know but with your help and just being there, well I made it through.

Hugs xx
Robbie and Awesome lady

It’s awesome to get messages like this cus it shows exboozehound has made a difference to my life and to others lives, I just wish my noggin would allow me to keep these things in mind rather than running away with the pain and indifference in life it likes to have me festering in.

I will come out the other side of this episode, just like you all will again and again and we will do this by knowing that the bastard that is mental illness just ain’t as strong as we are. At times in this episode I have KNOWN mental illness has me beaten, but I’ve KNOWN this before and I KNOW no matter how many times mental illness try’s to destroy me it NEVER will!!!!

So far 2015 has been a big bag of shite but sooner or later I will bounce back and so will you!!!!Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

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

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Unstable stability

Very soon it will be 2015 and although I know I have come a long way in 2014 the last couple of days have made me realise just how far I have to go to return to a “normal” life or indeed if I will ever have a “normal” life again. I didn’t get out of bed until about 14:30 today, I didn’t leave the house yesterday and if I’m honest I’m not looking forward to leaving the house tomorrow. But tomorrow I have to leave the house cus I’ve got an appointment with my mental health worker at 14:30 and I’m seeing my psychiatrist at 15:00.

I have definitely come a long way and although everything seems to be moving in the right direction I hate how close the pain of mental illness is to the surface, I hate how easily my stability can be derailed, I hate many things, including my lack of concentration and I definitely hate how much hard work keeping on keeping on is. I know I’m strong enough to keep going and I know 100% I will NEVER give up but I’m very tired from the constant battle.

I know 2015 will be a good year for me, it has to be cus I can’t have another shite year as I have nothing else to lose. I’m know where near that rock bottom that people like to talk about but even though I have come a long way I really haven’t even started the journey of recovery cus that can’t start until my stability is actually stable….Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Short and not so sweet post, not even sure it is worth it.

Having dips is good and bad, the good bit is it reminds you how good the good is when it’s good but the bad bit is it also reminds you how bad the bad bits are when its bad.

Tired of the pain and the ups n downs? Absolutely!!!!

But I KNOW there ain’t nothing I can’t handle…. EVENTUALLY!!!!

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

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

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