Drug Induced Psychosis – Guest Post

Hi all, very pleased to be publishing a new guest post, this post is from a guy called John Healy, he is one of the guys that I’ve been mentoring and is now very involved with making 2day2gether happen. John has more “expert by experience” knowledge than anyone I’ve ever met and his guest post is extremely powerful….

just a little warning, John definitely doesn’t hold back in this post!!!!

Drug Induced Psychosis

The following may be of use or at least of interest to anyone using psychoactive drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy or cannabis. It describes the onset of a mental illness which has features in common with paranoid schizophrenia. By its nature such an illness, if it’s onset is for the first time and is rapid in its development the individual will be very unlikely to realise what is happening to them even if they have some knowledge of psychiatry and drugs of abuse.

When a person starts using these kind of drugs they may well be free of any Ill effects the first few times they take them. This can lead to a false sense of security especially if they been advised to “not take it too often” or “you need loads to go off your head” or any other nonsense that drug users tell each other.

When I got into amphetamine abuse at the age of twenty I started off with a very favourable response to the drug, Iliked it. However in this case a ‘favourable response’ had disastrous consequences for me as it will anyone unwise enough to fool around with drugs of this type. I didn’t use regularly at first and mental illness seemed like something that only happened to ‘other people’. However little did I know that my seemingly innocuous habit was about to have a catastrophic effect on my entire life. My psyche was about to be assaulted by its own fears, inadequacies, weaknesses and defects.

The first thing that happened to me was I began suffering from mood swings, with bouts of terrible depression. I then began to take everything personally, even unintentionally harmful remarks seemed to me to be an attack on my character, slander so great it felt akin to blasphemy, as if my right to exist was being questioned. I then began lashing out with evil comments of my own which made me more and more unpopular with my peers. Things got worse and worse and I began to feel thoroughly miserable and wished things were they way they used to be.

So I retreated into the past for comfort and relief from my surroundings. I remembered better days, good friends a time when I had no real problems. I then began the descent into the wonderful world of mental illness.

Because I’d never had an illness like this before I didn’t see what was happening to me, my memories became more and more bizzare until they became something called confabulation. This is a medical term describing imagined experiences of a highly delusional nature and which are symptomatic of a psychosis (severe mental disorder with lack of insight, delusions, hallucinations etc). Anyway what happened was I developed grandiose delusions (ie I thought I was the central character in this strange and macarbre drama) and paranoid ideas (ie I thought I was going to be murdered for some imagined act of evil).

Things got so bad my sister got a psychiatrist out to see me and after a chat he invited me to go into hospital for treatment. I’d told him I’d killed someone and he said this was “unlikely”. He told my mom later that it was absolutely impossible (though of course he couldn’t discuss my details with her due to confidentiality)

On admission my symptoms were serious but gradually faded with a course of antipsychotic drugs and abstinence from amphetamine abuse. I was discharged after about eight weeks and went straight back to work (a mistake) I was sacked the following week. I began drinking heavily against medical advice and soon became very depressed, trying to kill myself with an overdose at one point. I even stopped taking my medication at one point but was forced to go back on it when my illness returned. This depression lasted about eight months gradually faded and I got a job and was back to normal-until I started taking drugs again…..

I won’t tell the rest of my story here because I’d be up all night if I attempted that. I just thought I’d share this for the sake of others who may be at risk of this kind of illness.

If you think it won’t/cant happen to you think again. If you think you’ll find your way out of the psychotic nightmare you’ll be in you’re wrong. If you think it will be something you get used to you’d be right-but you can get used to being in prison; that doesn’t make it desirable.

In short if you’re on drugs pack it in before it’s too late.

You have 3 options as a drug user :

1. Psychiatric hospital

2. Prison

3. A coffin

There’s plenty of help available so make use of it and get yourself off drugs, before it’s too late….
John Healy

Hi it’s exboozehound again, I’m not gunna say anything as I think the above speaks for itself!!!!

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

#MentallyIllNoShameWhatsoever #GetChangeGetInvolved

Still Finding Me – Guest Post

Hi all,  today we have another guest post and like all the guest posts before it’s extremely powerful, not only in the words but usually guest posts are the first time people step out and say “this is me, my story” that’s very very powerful in itself.

I know 100% that this guest post will help many people….

Still Finding Me

I was such a happy daughter until my teens. I knew something was different inside me, I grew up & became a mother myself but still felt different. It was then that I would eventually find out.

10yrs ago MH, Panic Attacks, Paranoia…….the voice inside started….. The voice was the Devil “HE “Gave me 1 choice.. To end my life & only then would “HE” end all suffering my family had.

I kept screaming No, No, trying to stop The voice, trying to drown it out but it was always the same, 1 choice.

First I was taken from my family to a hospital, psychiatrist ward. As I walked through the door I was a daughter to my parents, I was a mother to my kids. Confusion overwhelmed me. The MH and all kicked in so quickly

Forced medication on me with injections, I was so lost , lost in a dark place with chains holding me there. Begging anyone who said they would help me, telling them I was a prisoner in this dark place…… but paranoia hit me … I then believed they were helping him , drugging me.

I was there for 3 months, it doesn’t sound long when writing but it felt like yrs, suddenly I’m then diagnosed with Bipolar, Gave me a cocktail of medication and then the day arrived I was going back to my family…..

But as I walked out I walked out someone else, someone I never knew no longer the happy daughter , happy mum I was, but someone else MH had changed me, and still the devil wanted my soul “HE” kept telling what I had to do …. every day…. so many failed suicide attempts and now he was angry.

My parents there health got bad.

When for the first time in years revealed who “ HE” was to my psychiatrist who looked at me like I was mad.

Mad ….. I’ve got MH Bipolar, the Devil within me, and still no one believed me.

10yrs on he never won , apart from taking the happy daughter I once was , & happy mum for my kids.

MH changed my life, every day is a different battle but the women I am today will find myself eventually.

I may have bipolar but bipolar doesn’t have me

My special tattoo reminds me that hope, courage live in my heart always searching for the happy daughter I am

Play……. The Moments
Pause…..The Memories
Stop……. The Pain
Rewind….The Happiness

I found the courage to write my story, something I’ve never done.

For An Amazing Inspiring Man, reaches out to so many of us , his inspiration and courage touched my heart & soul , because I’m now 1 step away from from finding myself, the happy daughter .

Hi, exboozehound again…. I think you’ll agree with my one word sum up…. “Wow”

This is a little awkward but I believe “An Amazing Inspiring Man” is me…. This makes me very proud of who I’ve become since my mental breakdown in 2013, very proud!!

To see the last sentence of this powerful guest post….

“because I’m now 1 step away from from finding myself, the happy daughter” 

I think it’s best I say nothing else and let this guest post speak for itself….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Check out the new page on the blog “Stuff”

Mr Benn explains Multispecialty Community Providers

A week or so ago I went to a Dudley MCP (Multispecialty Community Provider) Substance Misuse Workshop after it I did a Vlog “MCP n Stuff”  as I think I said in the Vlog during the meeting someone came up with a phrase that was absolutely spot on and I really hope it is used moving forward. Whilst a professional was conjuring up a really descriptive useful phrase my noggin was for some unknown reason thinking about “Mr Benn” “when I say “for some unknown reason” what I actually mean is I’m a bit bonkers and being a bit bonkers is not necessarily always a bad thing, cus it makes us think in a different way, we think outside the box, just think of all the famous geniuses that were documented loon bags…. No need to say more….

We will obviously come back to the Dudley CCG/NHS nonsense, now is where I try very hard to find a way to make this Mr Benn Multispecialty Community Provider analogy work…. You may have to give me a certain bit of artistic licence in this….

Mr Benn – Gladiator

….”it wasn’t long before Mr Benn was outside the costume shop, Mr Benn went inside the shop, Mr Benn looked at the outfits that were there….” (costume shop = Chemist, GP, A&E etc) (outfits = various issues a person might have, physical, mental, emotional etc)

….”Suddenly, as if by magic the shop keeper appeared….’Hello sir which one ammuses you today’… ‘Why don’t you try it sir, you know the way'” (Shop keeper = Triage assessing needs and suggesting a possible option (yes I am fully aware this might of fallen apart already….)”

….”Mr Benn took the outfit and went through the door into the changing room….” (Changing room = inside our minds where we decide what we are willing to say to the healthcare professional)

….”Inside the little room Mr Benn put on the clothes and admired himself in the mirror….” (Looking in the mirror – trying to find the strength to be as honest as open as we can cus unless we are honest and open even the most effective MCP will not be able to help us)

….”Then he went through the second door, not the door back to the shop but the door that went…. Where this time he wondered….” (This is where my Mr Benn analogy is clever (well, sort of….) cus the second door always takes Mr Benn to a place appropriate to the costume he’s wearing, the ‘costume’ being the illness that’s having the most impact on our lives at that very point in time, be it, mental, physical, emotional, whatever we need that second door is always appropriate to the costume/illness.)

Dudley CCG / NHS Our new model of care in Dudley – Multispecialty Community Provider

 

 

 

Reference/research material used:-

“Mr Benn – Gladiator”  (watched numerous times)

Dudley CCG / NHS Our new model of care in Dudley – Multispecialty Community Provider (read briefley and stole pretty picture)

Right…. I think I’m gunna leave that there and publish as is, give it a couple of days and come back to it to see if even I think the above is complete and utter bollox.

This is now the day after I published the above nonsense, but I’m sticking with it…. It makes sense to me…. I think….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

 

Thoughts and Thinking

Hi…. I don’t write a lot these days, I started Vlogging and found it to be a better medium to get across my honest, open and some times distressing experiences of mental health and addiction issues…. Also to Vlog all I do is talk from 5 to 10 minutes then bang it on YouTube so it’s all over in 15 minutes (who was that who shouted lazy git? Cus your spot on….)

I have a feeling this blog is gunna be a complete and utter smorgasbord…. (no I don’t really know what that means either but oddly it was the word that popped in my mind so let’s run with it….) …. a complete and utter smorgasbord of rambling, nonsensical nonsense, for eg….

My first thoughts on the title of this blog are….

What complete moron decided that thought should be spelt thought? Idiot….

And

For reasons I may or may not explain at some point during this post I’m also not happy with the word thinking so I’m gunna change it to thunking….

(Hi Bell just so you know I think this post could be as frustrating as following the book, sorry….)

So the actual title of this post now becomes

Thorts and Thunking

Going back to how less time consuming the Vlogs are, after I decided I was gunna write a blog today there we certain things I decided I MUST start with, and now I can’t remember them, they may come back to me as I continue to waffle on….

Has anyone got the impression yet that I’m not really in control of my noggin and its thort pattern? Good!!!! I want you to feel that and trust me it’s only gunna get worse as we move further into this post….

One of the things I did want to mention early on is something I really don’t want to say but it has to be said, since I started the blog back in 2013 one of the many positive things I’ve gotten out of it is having direct contact with individuals getting in touch to say I’ve helped them in some way, inspired them to keep fighting, helped them understand their or their loved ones illness and many other amazing things like that. Currently I have on my phone lock screen a message that I haven’t shared before but it’s perfect to help me explain what I’m trying to say, the message includes the words….

“Your blogs & Vlogs reach so many of us and give us inspiration we once lost…. I am one of those people….”

Words like the above genuinely keep me going, however something that happened over the Christmas period got close to me cutting off all direct contact options. On Christmas Day I had a great day at my brothers house, he and his good lady wife put on a pretty spectacular day, although I’m deep inside the Bah hum bug camp I genuinely enjoyed the day and felt relaxed for most of it, cus I wanted to enjoy it I left my mobile at home. When I got back home I had a series of Direct Messages on Facebook, starting with “Jon I NEED your help!!!!!!!” Keeping in mind this is Christmas Day and I tell everyone that I’m not your crisis contact as I have to look after myself first, obviously as I didn’t have my phone on me I couldn’t answer this message, over a period of a couple of hours there were a number of more messages, distressing messages, ending with “Thanks for nothing, you won’t hear from me again”. I’m not breaking any confidences by talking about these messages as I’m not giving any details about the person that sent them, so from having a good Christmas Day to then coming back to see these Direct Messages on Facebook you can imagine the day took quite a negative turn.

On a fairly regular basis I will receive messages from people seeking my help and advice, firstly NOTHING I ever say is advice, I may make suggestions or give my opinion but it’s NEVER ADVICE, it can’t be seen as advice cus if something goes horribly wrong I need to know that those I’m speaking with understand this, this is my safety mechanism to protect myself.

Often the messages I receive will be on an evening, sometimes I will reply but quite often I am unable to as I’m trying to wind down and stay off social media so I can get some kip that night.

Often the messages I receive will be at the weekend, sometimes I will reply but quite often I am unable to as I’m trying to wind down at the weekend having been to various meetings and groups etc during the week and needing to rest to be able to be able to function again on Monday.

Often the messages I receive will be during the day, sometimes I will reply but quite often I am unable to as I’m busy doing something else for myself or for others.

I hate that I’m writing what I’m writing but the Christmas Day incident was the straw that broke the camels back I have received too many borderline abusive messages, what I do as exboozehound has many many plus sides, I love that I’ve made some great friends via social media and that I’ve helped people with my approach based around not being ashamed to be a mentally ill retired alcoholic. What I need people to remember is I’m still just me, one man, I am extremely proud of the number of followers I have on Twitter and even more proud that quite a few of those followers I have interacted with on a regular basis over the last few years, I’m extremely proud that this blog has been a success and is still going strong and getting a decent number of visits a week, I’m again extremely proud that my Vlogs have been viewed over 4000 times, fortunately these days I am able to pat myself on the back and say I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved as exboozehound, unfortunately cus of these achievements I’m no longer able to keep up with everything. Currently I have Direct Messages on Twitter over a week old this is for various reasons and in part cus of the Christmas Day messages I’ve got what I can only describe as social media anxiety, I’m logging onto Twitter, Facebook etc posting my posts and logging straight back out, I’m actually afraid to stay logged in in case I get involved in a conversation I haven’t got time for or more likely at the moment haven’t got the mental capacity to handle the conversation.

Typing the above has actually made me quite sad but I have to admit and accept I can’t keep up with everything and I don’t want to get to the stage where I have to cut off direct contact options.

Another reason for wanting to do a blog post is I want to start something and complete it, my noggin doesn’t seem connected to anything, there’s appears to be 1000’s of thorts spinning around my head and I can’t pin a single one of them down. Ive been trying to find the right phrase to sum it up, the best I can come up with is “my noggin seems to be in No mans land” it’s running backwards and forward unable to decide which trench to head towards. Not sure if this will make sense but you know if you get a cut or a bruise somewhere you are more aware of that part of your body, you always know all you bits and pieces are there but now even more so, my noggin is like that, obviously I always know it’s always there but cus there’s 1000’s of thorts bouncing around I’m aware of my noggin even more…. (Does that make any sense??). Another example I came up with is you know that really annoying feeling you get when someone asks you “what’s the name of that actor in that film….?” Without the power of Google and not being able to recall the name even though you’ve got a picture of them in your mind, you get more and more frustrated that you can’t remember the name, then you keep coming up with the same wrong name over and over again, think of how that feels and multiply the feeling by at least 10….

So far I’ve failed at wanting to start something and complete it cus I started this post on Thursday afternoon, it’s now Friday evening and there’s no way my concentration is gunna stick with me long enough for me to compete this today….

Hopefully once I have completed this I will be able to find some proper levels of concentration to catch up on social media and then emails….

So as I said I started this blog on Thursday and it’s now Saturday afternoon, I think it’s fair to say I’ve lost any momentum there was driving me to write this blog, however part of the reason I’ve lost that momentum is my noggin is a lot calmer. I am gunna finish and post this blog one way or another even if it has no relevance whatsoever to anyone, selfishly in part writing this blog is why my noggin is calmer.

This morning I was aware that it was important to me to keep going with this blog so I asked my noggin if this was gunna be possible and the answer was a No!!!! However I then logged into YouTube and selected a Linkin park video and it reinspired me, as you know the title of this blog is “Thorts and Thunking” my origanal aim was to discuss how being overwhelmed by what seems to be a 1000 thorts at a time can leave you unable to concentrate for more than 3.5 seconds and unable to function at all. Something I’ve said many times is “whatever I’m doing I often feel there are 2 or 3 other things I should be doing” this is classic mentalist behaviour, even if the thing you were doing is amazingly positive and productive you’ve still failed cus you haven’t done the other 2 or 3 things….

The Linkin Park video that I put on first was Heavy – Linkin Park ft. Kiiara  I’ve given you the link to a lyrics version of the track so you can listen and also see the lyrics, I find this track very powerful like I do with many Linkin Park tracks. Up to this point I’ve written 1808 words under the title of “Thorts and Thunking” I’ve written those words across 3 days and Linkin Park nail it in under 3 minutes…. I’m not gunna go through all the lyrics but I am gunna look at one line in particular….

“I don’t like my mind right now, stacking up problems that are so unnecessary….”

I think the less said the better, really take time to consider the line above and definitely follow the link to YouTube pretty much every lyric hits the proverbial nail on the head!!!!

I know there was so much more I wanted to say in the blog when I started it but I’m gunna end it there cus I really want you to consider the lyric above and watch and listen to the track and consider the words carefully….

One more line to prick your interest further….

“And I drive myself crazy thunking everything’s about me, Yeah I drive myself crazy cus I can’t escape the gravity….”

Checkout a page on the blog I’m extremely proud of “I Likes It” 

Checkout my channel on YouTube and please subscribe to get notifications when new Vlogs are posted.

If you find any of my stuff and the various Guest bloggers stuff helpful and interesting please share it

I also have a Paypal account, I hate asking for money but needs must, everything I’ve done over the last four years has been at my own expense I receive no funding whatsoever, thank you.

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

The invisible illness – guest post

Another extremely powerful guest post from the truly extraordinary girl who wrote “Four Letter Words”

Bec says I inspire her, I’ll take that compliment as long as she will accept that she is truly inspirational to me. I wish I was as aware of my issues when I was her age. Eventually Bec will be part of 2day2gether I know she has helped many people with her previous guest blog post and other things she is doing, including coming with me to Birmingham to give feedback on West Midlands Combined Authority’s IPS (Individual Placement and Support) plans moving forward, I’m gunna shut up now.

Guest Blog from Bec

Mental illness, the ‘invisible illness’, a disorder that affects a persons thinking/behaviour. The demon. Depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, ocd, paranoia, psychosis, ptsd, the list goes on. So many illnesses and so many people suffer, yet so many are blind to them.

I don’t want to have to sugar coat things like a lot of people feel they have to because of the stigma attached to mental health issues. Living with mental illnesses is absolute hell. The morning light shinning through the curtains makes me realise another day of fighting has broke. I pull the covers over my head, i just don’t want to face the struggles.

I have a drink every night so i can go to bed with a clearer head, I say clearer because its never going to be calm. Not while I’m battling these illnesses, not even when i recover. I self harm so i can take my mind off the mental pain for just a minute and focus on the physical pain I’ve just inflicted. I disassociate because my mind tries to avoid what’s going on. I smoke to calm the anxiety down, and to reduce my appetite. My head stops me from sleeping, so many intrusive thoughts, so many memories, so much reminiscing.

Jon (exboozehound) once said to me, ‘rest, recharge the batteries and come back fighting’ and that is exactly what we all need to do, however we tell ourselves we are going to rest, do this and do that and then we end up hiding away from everything, because what’s the point in trying so hard to fall back down? The point is because you wont always fall. No matter our experiences, we need to pull ourselves back up, yes we will have blips and dips, but we need to build a ladder from what we have and climb until we reach the top. Another amazing person has said to me ‘you have to know your own worth, to be worthy’ and that’s what we need to remember. It takes time to learn to love ourselves, to learn that mental illnesses and our coping mechanisms do not define us. We have to believe in ourselves in order to be able to fight, some of us might not be ready to let go of our mental illnesses, I for one aren’t because I’ve lived with it so long and don’t know any different, but I know I’ll be able to let go in time, and I can lead a happy life, and so can anyone else with ‘invisible’ illnesses.

I have texts/messages from people who have made my life and my demons easier to cope with, who have been extremely supportive since I met them, some are complete strangers, but I re read some of those texts to remind myself I am worthy and I am strong, and if someone feels as though they dont have that supportive person in their life, remember there is always someone there, whether its a stranger or a friend, you are not alone.

The demons might win the battle, but they wont win the war!! Stand up against your demons, you are stronger than you believe, trust me when I say you can get through this. Find the strength and fight inside of you, and you can do anything. Believe in yourself.

Small fish humongous pond

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

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

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

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

Monday 9th October

Tuesday 10th October (World Mental Health Day) Vlog

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

Wednesday 11th October 1:40am

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

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

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

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

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

“I can’t handle this pain anymore”

“I’d rather be dead”

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

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

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

And of course….

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

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

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

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

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

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

I’m unable to sustain (is that the right word?) all the one to one stuff, group stuff (I do have people I can refer you to as part of www.2day2gether.co.uk, in fact I introduced 2 people to each other last night) committee stuff etc etc so I need a bit of time to reorganise my mind, commitments etc and make sure I take things in the right direction before I destroy myself and everything I’ve built over the last 4 years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Four letter words – guest post

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

Four Letter Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a link to my YouTube page

Negative Experiences

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

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

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

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

all of us 2day2gether for a better 2morrow

Please add Country & Borough eg England, Dudley

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

Hiding Away

I had a fairly busy “exboozehound” week last week and like most things in my world this brings contradictions in my noggin, the week was positive cus I was doing positive things and the week was negative cus those positive things are never gunna be good enough, I’m changing nothing and all that changing nothing is making me tired. When I get tired dancing with the demons is more often than not only gunna end with one winner and that’s the demons. So after a busy week comes the weekend that you tell yourself that you need to relax and recharge the batteries, makes sense right?

Not always….

Sometimes “relax and recharge the batteries” is exactly what you plan to do and Monday comes around and you feel refreshed for that rest. Unfortunately sometimes saying to yourself “I’m gunna relax and recharge the batteries” is you lying to yourself. What it really means is “I’m gunna hide away cus I just can’t be arsed with a life that has no joy in it” or “I’m gunna hide away cus isolation is safe”. I’m searching for more words but sometimes there aren’t words to describe it sometimes you just know you haven’t got the fight left, that was how I felt Friday evening and I knew the weekend was gunna be a disaster, it was. I didn’t leave the house Saturday and I only left the house on Sunday to have a McDonald’s. Leaving the house to have a McDonald’s is me forcing myself to go somewhere for a period of time surrounded by other people which is something I use as a sort of coping mechanism. It helped a bit but I felt very uncomfortable, but feeling uncomfortable and doing it anyway I see as a positive.

When I woke up Monday I wasn’t well and just gave into it and went back to bed and stayed there pretty much all day, although this allowed me to step away from the stress and pain of depression and the demons I was very disappointed with myself and if I’m honest I still am disappointed today (Wednesday) but I know I will put this disappointment behind me soon, I have to, I have to accept the last few days in order to move forward.

Tuesday morning was very painful, I originally woke up about 8:30am and knew straight away I was gunna struggle to get up, I had an appointment with my psychologist at 15:00 I started convincing myself I wasn’t gunna be able to handle this so would need to cancel that appointment and then I was thinking about cancelling my dentist appointment for the next day my demons were setting me up to take a huge fall into a place that would be very hard to return from and they were very convincing. Eventually I got up about 11am and spent the next hour pacing backwards and forwards, looking out the window thinking “I can’t go out there”, sitting on the stairs crying, stressing about only having 2 roll ups left and not being able to calm myself down enough to roll anymore, thinking about borrowing a box of my Dads cigarettes even though he had picked me up some rolling tobacco the day before and how pathetic it would make me feel not being able to do a simple task like doing a few roll ups. I knew I’d gotta have a shower if I was gunna go out to my psychologist appointment, worrying that I might fall over in the shower cus then panicking and poor breathing had made me lightheaded. Realising that cus I’d been in bed all day yesterday I hadn’t had anything to eat so I needed to get something to eat before the afternoon appointment. I’ve tried to write down as many of the ridiculous things that were causing me pain to give you an insight into the nonsensical world of my noggin in panic & anxiety mode….

Finally I calmed myself down enough to make another cup of tea and sit down to do some roll ups, sounds pathetic but each roll up was hard work keeping my concentration centred on this simple task, sad but very true. Then my phone rang, it was my Mom and pretty much as soon as I answered it I started crying, a 42 year old man who was now crying down the phone to his Mom. I can’t really remember what we spoke about but I know I said “I don’t want to keep going through this pain, sometimes it just gets too much”. Speaking and crying about it with my Mom really calmed me down and gave me the fight and strength I needed. After the phone call I sat back down and drank my tea whilst rolling a few more roll ups and then had my shower. Once I was dressed and ready I had to go out at that point before I had chance to go backwards again.

By about 13:00 I was in Halesowen tucking into a sandwich while watching the world go by, as talked about in my last post “Demons” I was proud I had done my first “little thing” I was still uncomfortable but I was uncomfortable and doing it anyway. After my sandwich I made my way to Spoons to have a cup of tea and start writing this post. My noggin was still very cloudy so it was hard going to begin with but I wanted to start the post whilst the pain was still raw, I wanted to get across that no matter how bad I was a couple of hours ago I’d managed to move forward quite away in a very short period of time. If I can turn the “little things” into a more liveable less painful day then you can too. I’d started to wish I had made an effort on Monday rather than hiding away but I have to stop thinking about that cus it’s done, it’s gone, it can’t be changed now, it was a day I either chose not to fight or just couldn’t fight I could spend loads of time analysing which it was but it would be a waste of energy, best to concentrate my effort on now than trying to answer a question that probably has no answer.

Sometimes I feel using words like fight & strength seem a bit dramatic and I would imagine those with no understanding of mental illness would mock these words, but how else can you describe it, you do need strength and fight to win against the internal mental and physical battle that mental illness throws at you.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Whatever mental illness throws at you you can find the strength to fight back, maybe not immediately but you will find the strength if you take the time and effort to look for it.

“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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