Tag Archives: soba

Positive Experiences

  1. 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 positive 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)



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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//

Going to print (sort of)

Yesterday I spent another 3 hours going through my “thingymajig” mainly formatting it but a bit of proof reading as well. Having to read it back destroyed me a bit and I have huge doubts about actually publishing it but I think today will be the day :-\

I think I’ve mentioned on here before that I hit 20000 words and then a couple of things smacked me in the fizog (face) and made me quite ill again, I realised that one of the things that was making me ill was writing the thingymajig and I needed to either publish it or forget it. I have pasted in the blog contents up to a certain date and although this might seem like a bit of a cheat I actually think it is ok for me to do this? I’ve set the price at £5 if I get bad feedback about the price I will reduce it (possibly). It’s not about the money for me, although cus I can’t work on the grounds of being a nut job I do need some cash, in the main it’s about other people asking me to do it and saying my words helped them and will help others. This might sound a bit delusional but I think my words can help people, actually I know they can because I have had a number of messages in private and in the open saying just this, this fills me with such pride….

Finally I have achieved something, finally I can feel like I have succeeded at something…. No it’s not what I always wanted to achieve, good job, big house, expensive cars and all that jazz but to have been told I stopped someone killing themselves is so much more worth while than all that shite!!!!

Saf made this comment a few days ago xxx

 APRIL 1, 2014

The world needs those memoirs! They will be on my book shelf. You forgot one other thing you are good at…helping others! You and your blog has reached out to others and made a difference! What if thats been ure destiny all along. Helluva price to pay I know but what u do matters. People need to hear the voice of the ‘patient’ its certainly improved my practice as a nurse in addictions and personally i know im not alone in dealing with whats in my head!

I have no words to respond properly to this….

I had a message on Twitter the other day simply saying “Thank you for cheering me up this morning” This filled me with a wonderful feeling and all I did was basically say “hi, how are you?”.

So as I’ve said before “thinking (thunking) is overrated” “Just do it” “it is what it is” “enjoy the good and ride out the bad” “strap on a pair”.

I have strapped on a pair and I’m ready to roll….

I think? :-\

Keep Smiling 🙂

#timetotype
#ReadReplyRetweetRepeatx4
#ReevaluateAdaptChange
#PassionBeliefAcceptance




Just popping by to say hi…..

Hi all, I just wanted to pop back to say “hi”. I’m still trying to take a back seat for a while, because the last few weeks have made me quite unwell! I’m trying to concentrate (lol) on other stuff. Some of this stuff is exciting, terrifying, upsetting, emotional, unexpected, enjoyable, very very enjoyable 😉 , unbelievable, blowing my mind, frightening and confusing for others, going my way 🙂 , not going my way (but I understand!!) 🙁 . I think you get the picture????

I wanted to mention I have some more guest blogs coming up, one hopefully this week and then others to follow… A number of people from all different sides of the different stories have showed an interest and said they would do a post, you know who you are, so fingers crossed. If you would like to do a guest blog, please let me know 🙂 .

The next bit makes me feel like a bit of a tool, buy hey ho, if that hat fits wear the bastard….

I am writing a book…. (Numpty!!). In fact, I think it will be a memoir as I googled it and I can get away with 60000 words…. I have written 15000 words and asked someone who was very inspirational to me to read it. They have read it and given me some feedback. This person is pretty up front, in a good way, I know they wouldn’t give me any bollox and would tell me straight. I was blown away by the response, below is a few snippets of their feedback.

(Thank you C xx)….

“Just finished it…. …I made a cuppa and read your book. I’m saying book as I totally believe you will finish it and also believe that when you do, your ‘memoir’ will be a snippet of a life you are really about to live….”

“You want my honest opinion? Here goes….”

“I love your language, it’s your speak and makes your reader relate. Yeh there’s a few spellings here and there….”          (Pot/Kettle “yeh”)

“All in all it’s “punched me in the gob” and thank you so so much for allowing me to read it so far. Would I pay for it on kindle? Honestly? Yes”

I can’t follow that with useful words, so I won’t….

Catch you soon.

Keep Smiling 🙂

#timetotype
#ReadReplyRetweetRepeatx4

Guest Post “Tribute to Jon”

Had to prefix the title with “Guest Post”. “Tribute to Jon”  is not a title I could use!! People would think “oooh look at him!!”
 (I couldn’t think of another way of saying that without some pretty unpleasant swear words…… and i’m trying to mature??)

Without further a do, here is a guest post from my Twitter buddy Alex, Peace Out Dude (double chest pump)

Tribute to Jon. Man who taught me the word Noggin (plus other things!!!)

I think Jon’s was the first blog I have ever followed. I think so. It was definitely one of the first 2 or 3, if not the first. I came into contact with him not long after I joined Twitter which I think was Dec 2013. I just noticed his blog from looking at the list of people another Twitter pal was following. I think I responded to a comment someone had made on his blog asking him to “man up” and “stop moaning”. I remember Jon handling that comment really well. I then read about his 10 years plus of being off the booze and I was hooked on his blog! That and the Twitter profile picture he had at the time that reminded me of Charles Bronson (the notorious convict) LOL.

image
The old Twitter profile

I’m a student mental health nurse (first year). Jon doesn’t seem to mind me “representing” the NHS in some ways. He is often sounding off about the NHS and like anyone, he is entitled to voice his opinion, which for him is based on his experience of the NHS.

I was honoured when he asked if I’d consider writing a “guest blog”. I am not a blogger and the blogging world is very new to me. I had a completely different idea of what to write earlier today. I’m waiting an essay result tonight (Friday) from my University degree and am very anxious about it and was going to write a blog called “F*** this Anxiety”, but I am not sure how relevant it would have been to his blog to be honest, so I had a rethink.

It’s possible this is a cop out and I’ve ended up writing more about him than me here. I think when I am bit more “up and running” and confident with writing about myself or writing about something that would really interest his readers I will ask him if I can do another piece on here.

However for now, I’d like to make this more about him than me. There’s other reasons for this. He has just completed 11 years sober. That achievement speaks for itself. No need for me to add words like amazing, fantastic and wonderful when we all already know that. He’s been a good person for me to get to know as he has, and will continue to hopefully, teach me a thing or two about addiction. I’ve worked in the mental health field for many years, and supported people with addictions, but I’ve never really specialised in addiction work and so my general mental health knowledge is much stronger than my knowledge in addiction.

This is also the guy that was my inspiration behind getting involved with DryAthlon. That was basically eliminating booze for January 2014 to raise funds for Cancer Research. He even sponsored me £10 which was the 2nd highest figure I got and he has never even met me! Plus I know he is operating on a limited budget, so I was a bit blown away with that. Jon is also the person responsible for me coming into contact with someone on twitter called Judy @HeyJudeusa. He had pointed me in the direction of an interview she gave about losing her son to mental illness. Since then I’ve had a few chats with her on-line and am really happy to have become acquainted with her.

Oh, and Noggin. I believe that’s Jon’s word for his “mind” or his “brain”, although I might stand to be corrected on that! It might even be a true word for all I know. Often I’m not sure if some of his words are “the language of Jon” or actual words that I haven’t heard of LOL.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Peace Out

Alex
@AJ628studentMH

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