Saturday, February 27, 2016
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Anyone who knows me knows just how complex my brain can be about the smallest of matters, and how sometimes I can dwell on something, fixate on it to a point of destruction of the said situation. Usually ending in more misery and confusion, for me at least.
It will also am sure, not go unnoticed that I can also be a bit of a word smith at times, and find a way to convey a message or opinion in such a way that the whole world can understand (or so it feels at times). So imagine the quandary for me finding myself in a situation I understand, but can't express! It's painful.
There have always been two sides to my thought process, maybe more at times depending on the situation and reward offered by it. But let us concentrate on the two main sides. There is the side that sees things logically, for their true worth and intentions. Accepting things for what they are, like any other rational person. Then there is the self destructive side, the voice of doubt and negativity. Again, everyone has this side, but for most it is just the voice of reason, making us consider things for their worth before jumping in head first. A good thing for most, swaying us away from situations we would otherwise allow ourselves to do things, only to regret them later.
Sadly for me the negative side of my thought process is far too active, and manages to get involved in the simplest of situations and run amok through my mind, complicating things which are otherwise pretty simple and harmless. This happens all too frequently, and when it does, it leaves behind a path of destruction every time. Sometimes damaging important things. Then, rather than feeling regret and sorrow, it barrels on with no recourse, and justifies things in a way where I am meant to feel I am better off thanks to the stupid actions. The negative side will always see it as a win, while the downtrodden normal side can see the true magnitude of what has happened.
So, back to the point of this entry.
Recently the negative side of my mind has been hard at work, trying to push me back down the slope of depression. Taking things which have felt positive, and turning them against me. Each time managing to get me back down the slope, and back into isolation. Seemingly alone and isolated is somehow safer than being in the real world and exposed to the risk of hurt or harm.
Trying to convey that however has been really hard for me, especially in certain situations. But yesterday, during a tattoo sitting of all things,*POP* the negative bubble surrounding the matter burst, and my ability to express EXACTLY what I have been trying to for a long time came flooding back.
I have said since my CBT sessions started, I need counselling, not some sort of brain washing radicalisation to make me conform the to text book way of thinking and rationalisation. It seems I was right. I have had some of my greatest moments of clarity while being tattooed, maybe that is why I seem to have a growing number of pieces. Do I really seek the sensation of a tattoo in order to trigger my mind, a jump-start of sorts. I think in a way I do! Hardly an epiphany for me, I have considered this possibility a number of times over the years. Having had some tattoos done as almost a time out from real life.
To finally see a matter for exactly what it is. See how simple it really is, and not at all scary or complicated like negative mind wants you to believe. It is SO refreshing, empowering and exciting. Of course, sometimes the clarity comes too late, and while it makes perfect sense, re approaching a situation in which the dust has now settled is somewhat counter-productive, and this is also quite frustrating, as you are left with something wonderful that you are unable to share. What should be a fix could actually turn it into a massive clusterfuck.
Either way, to finally walk clear of the fog on the path, and be able to see again is wonderful. An analogy I used to use when helping a friend through tough times. We all lose our way at times, and stumble from the path, sometimes the fog closes in and we cannot see our way. Instead of panicking and running scared, it is wiser to slow down, retrace our steps, and allow the fog to clear before carrying on any further. For me, the fog is well and truly clear, and I can see. Visibility is still low, I'm not sure where the road leads, but I know I will see whatever is coming before it happens now, and have no reason to fear the things my negative mind has led me to believe previously.
I can see the wonderful things people have done for me over the last few months, the wrong turns I have taken, and the speedbumps along the way which have upset the load a bit. Slowing the journey down now, I can overcome speedhumps with caution, and see where I am going, so hopefully no more wrong turns, well, not big ones anyway.
So this blog really is a thank you to Michelle more than anything. A friend (who charges me for her time and scars me for life lol) who has a wonderful way of seeing things, and an amazing ability to connect with me, in the way I usually connect with others, and dig deep enough to find the root to each of my problems. I am used to being the one who manages to dig around in peoples minds to help them see what is bothering them, and once I realised that, I found it rewarding to know I could help others. So I hope you too have found reward in what you do, knowingly or otherwise.
I know I have caused some upset along this journey, and won't say for one second that none of it was intentional, that would be a lie. But there are things that have happened which should not have, misunderstandings, and some huge moments where I have failed to consider the impact of my words or actions, which has led to awkward and sometimes painful situations, for which I am truly sorry.
While taking the time to realise I have to do what is right for me, and me only, which has only come recently. My conversations with close friends has made me realise lots of people need that level of control in their lives, and it is NOT selfish or ignorant, it is necessary and normal to protect what is precious to you, at any cost!
I also realise while I manage to pigeon hole people in my life, in an order of trust and importance, so do others. And just because they hold a prime pigeon hole in your life, you may not rank the same way in theirs. Not a bad thing, just a reality of life. Of course you can be upgraded and moved around as life goes on, but it is not for us to decide our place in other peoples lives.
Right, that's enough of that.
Thank you to the special people in my life, in the top row. I shall try to grow from this and respect whatever place you have for me in your life.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Continuing on my path of good highs and epic lows, the cycle continues. I seem hell bent on making life miserable for myself in any way possible. Finally I have found something I am really good at..... Fucking up! "Never be like you" by Flume is a really good soundtrack for my feelings right now.
If I could help myself even one tenth of the way I screw my life up, I would be in a much better place.
My mind is spinning, my thoughts are self destructive, and my deep seated intentions seem to be to ensure I stay as fucked up and alone as possible.
Is it possible I am hoping to find happiness in the misery I create for myself? Or am I just out of control in my own tiny mind?
Running away from everything seems like the only way, slamming doors shut, closing out uncertainty, protecting myself from the unknown. The downside being shutting out people I want and need in my life, and isolating myself from things that bring me joy.
Right now I know no other way, and don't want anyone to prove me wrong, or show me hope.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
... and I really don't give a crap!
Feb 14th comes and goes every year, same razzmatazz, nothing changes except for the age I give when asked, and my demographic in some cases. 43 this year, and mentally I feel every year of it. Behaviour and physically of course are other matters entirely. I have ducked out of the whole of February for years now, and as the years pass, I have more and more reason to do so. This year especially. Of course it's that V day thing too, and yeah, I have no one, sob bloody sob!
So this year I am going to do it differently... Oh tell a lie, no I'm not. I'm going off the grid, out of London and spending some me time. Mainly driving, probably mostly stuck in traffic, but it's a big middle finger up to the expectations of the date. I'm not sulking (much) not boycotting (not totally), just refusing to conform, and being a lonely old bastard. After all its what I do best.
Facebook is going off this evening, and back on when I can be bothered, phone going on silent, I will be driving after all. Pretty sure it will be a shitty day, and pretty boring too. But it will be of my own making, and I will have no one to blame but myself. As long as I end the day able to sleep and with a sense of satisfaction, who cares. My gift to myself. What more could I want (or let's be honest, expect either)
Thanks to those who have sent cards, I promise I haven't thrown any straight in the bin this year.
As a whole I am still pretty up and down with moods. Yesterday for example you would imagine after so many positives I would relax and sleep well ... Errm nope. Hopeless night of struggling to sleep, and waking all night long. Bad dreams, as has been the norm for a few days now) and woke up feeling negative. Just goes to show, my mind is a frickin mess.
Anyway, just catching up, sure only a few people will see this as I'm not posting a link anywhere, just getting it all off my chest.
Bye for now.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Where did it go? My motivation to get up early has disappeared. Even after an early night like last night, bed by 9pm, slept til 6am. That is already a long sleep for me. But to then lay in bed til 8.30am is just ridiculous!
In my head I'm not avoiding getting up, it's just that the bed is so warm and comfortable, at least that is what I am telling myself to justify staying in there so long. The reality is slightly more sinister than that.
For the past week now my mood has bounced violently from highs to lows, changing in a flash with no obvious reason. The side effects of that are that by 8pm nightly my mind is shutting down, creating a lethargic feeling and demanding I go to bed asap. Hence not making it past 9.30pm most nights.
The getting up later and later has been around for the past week too. Occasionally I can fight through it and get out and moving straight away, but less and less as time goes on. The reason? Well my simple explanation is avoidance. If I don't get up, the day doesn't start. If the day doesn't start then I have no fear about what it might hold. No need to encounter people ordeal with anything. So while I feel like I am happy and having a lazy lay-in, I am in fact happy because I am preventing anything happening. Classic sign of depression, and one I am not happy about having to fight.
Once I am up I generally have a good amount of energy, and manage to stay active throughout the day, weather determines what I can do each day. Today for example it's raining a bit, but the only outdoor activities I have planned are my C25K session, and hopefully being able to walk the dogs. The rest I have planned is all indoors.
I am seeing my GP tomorrow, I am also having a meeting with my new manager at home, and then have therapy later in the day. Still not sure about therapy, I will see how I go at the doctors in the morning, and decide from there.
It is also my daughters 21st birthday today. No stress there at all eh.
I really hope I can find a way to break this cycle of excessive sleep and bed time, but in a positive and non self destructive way. Not that things have gotten a lot better recently, but I really don't want to drop any lower. For the first time yesterday I contemplated calling the emergency number I have for the mental health department. I have considered it before but only as a flash thought, but this time I was running through in my mind what I would say, and what I hoped to hear back.
Then I remembered how hopeless they have made me feel before, and my lack of faith and belief on their ability, so just went back to feeling empty and hopeless again. As well as alone.
My small victory for the morning was banging my head. Sounds a bit weird I know, but there is a victory there, trust me.
On banging my head (accidentally) the immediate thought was to blame my whole life for it, feel I deserve it, and just put it down to who I am. But I managed to switch that to reality. I don't do it every day, accidents happen, and it was just unfortunate. Silly as it sounds, that is HUGE. It is so easy to take the blame for everything, and spiral down and down from one simple thing like that. I win that round.
So as I sit on the sofa now, relaxed having not been on social media, no conversations going on, TV off, and breakfast in my belly. I am formulating a plan for today, and also for tomorrow morning. All seems quiet and peaceful, but the day hasn't truly started yet. Once I get my running gear on and head to the park, then the fun starts.
Running and exercise plans for today are to not be self destructive. Not to run or train til I am in pain. Do my C25K session, then either a single mile lap to see if I can beat my PB, or if my legs are in the game (especially after yesterdays 40 mile bike ride) throw in a 5k to pass time and see what my pace is like. We shall see.
Right, I'm off to avoid the day for a bit longer.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
I have just sat down and stopped for the first time today after getting up at about 6.30. And as my bum hit the seat, I felt the pressure bearing down on me once again. The instant my brain has nothing else to think about, BOOM, everything crashes down.
Unable to stop thinking about recent events, tearing away at the last shreds of strength and self esteem, I have nothing left. I want to fight, I want to stand tall but I can't, I just can't. Instead I am left with flight, and running scared, from not only everything and everyone around me, but trying to escape myself too.
I felt similar to this late last week, and went for a head clearing walk. I got about a mile from home and felt my pace increasing. I was physically actually trying to run away. If the dogs were not at home I would more than likely just have gone to the middle of nowhere, found somewhere to stay and hidden. As I walked further I wanted to cry, to let it all go, cleanse myself of all of this, and start over.
As the realisation hit that this was not possible, I became angry, frustrated. Why am I trapped here?
Eventually after talking to a friend I turned and headed for home, and was lucky enough to have his company for the evening, which helped settle things. This time I don't even want that. All I can think of in my mind is to go out with the bike, exhaust myself, feel some physical discomfort, actually be responsible for something I am feeling, then come home and hide til it is time to sleep, and forget this day, and those in the past and future exist.
I have said before how hopeless I feel at times. This is total and utter. I can't think of any positives right now.
Oh and just to make things a little bit worse, my daughter turns 21 tomorrow. The last landmark birthday, the last big celebration and stride into full adulthood.... And I missed them ALL !
Monday, February 8, 2016
Or at least that is how I feel right now.
Talking to a friend earlier today I was sure I was on top of things. I felt that as the afternoon turned into evening and night I would settle down. How wrong I was!
Coming from a massive high this morning, running my first 10km non stop outdoors, it was a hard high to beat. With the weather moving in fast this morning and afternoon, getting back out even just to walk the dogs was going to be a feat in itself. Needless to say it was late evening (now) before I could.
I guess it is only fair to say that I have kinda felt this drop coming for a couple of days now, with a series of events really giving my self esteem a proper battering. I won't go into detail as the intention of this entry is not to give anyone a hard time. Life has just gone on, but it is how my brain has interpreted certain aspects of the past days which has resulted in this low.
Walking a tightrope of emotions is a hard thing to do at the best of times, but in the social winds, there is always a gust waiting to take you off your feet, and throw you off balance. As it would seem has happened to me... AGAIN!
Trying to re-gain some self worth and dignity has been a hard slog recently, but I know it is what will eventually get me back on my feet. The running and cycling, as well as being a great distraction, has also given me some worth, and occasional senses of achievement. These go a long way to making me feel good about myself. Not to be mistaken for vanity of course. Those feel good photos shared to the world of social media as a bit of an ego boost, and very little more.
Realising people have been ashamed to be associated with you, hidden their connection with you, and pretended it's not like that is a real kick in the bollox, and can turn the road to recovery into a muddy trail which is impassable in a matter of minutes. Impossible to comprehend unless you are actually there, it is soul destroying and tears through your past like a tornado. What was ever real?
Breaking ties with a support network in the name of trying to go it alone is a strange and dangerous thing to do, but after an event like the one above, trust is really hard to give to anyone, and feeling secure only when isolated and hidden away comes naturally. Is it the wrong thing to do, probably yes.
So why do it? Because in isolation I am the only one who can affect my mood, my day and ultimately my recovery. Eliminating the possibility of misinterpretation leading to a mood swing which I then have someone to blame for. Reducing the chances of me ruining friendships which I value so much. Taking away the expectation on others to somehow magically make everything better, and then blaming them when it doesn't happen.
One thing which is becoming abundantly clear to me right now is that I am not right. After all this time trying to find a path through all this mental mayhem, so many false hopes have led not only to disappointment, but also to a more damaging depth of depression.
Right at this point I have to call this my absolute low of this bout of depression. And one which has really gotten the better of me. Getting out of this hole is going to be a battle for sure, but one I hope I can win.
Already I have realised that my self destructive behaviour, obsessive exercise when my body is saying no, has returned. After the run today, sensible me knows that I should rest and go easy on myself. So a 5 mile walk followed by walking the dogs for another 3.5 miles is probably not the best way of resting.
I already have plans for tomorrow to keep me busy and exhausted, but am sure if I am home early enough I will make an effort to do even more.
A couple of weeks ago I had grand designs for my up and coming 43rd birthday, having decided it was my first in over a decade as a single man, and convinced by others I should make a bit of an effort, my brain was ready to do just that. Hell, I was even making plans for Valentine's (which is also my birthday), but quite frankly, fuck it! I can do without over-thinking another thing, especially as pointless as those above, so the day will pass with no interest from me whatsoever, again!
I need to see my doctor again, to discuss what is next, how to get out of this spiral which is growing ever tighter and faster. The CBT approach is really not for me, and even with a firm understanding of how it is supposed to work, I can see no way it will make a dent in my emotions. With my past biting me in the arse firmly again, I fail to see how putting it behind me with no further consideration is even considered possible.
Something is wrong, seriously wrong, and there is a limit to how many distractions I can hope or expect friends to provide for me, to take my mind away from it all long enough to feel better in the medium term. Times with friends are amazing, and I am eternally grateful for those showing me compassion, and taking time out of their own lives to give me a much needed lift. But I need to be able to do this for myself at some point, and not feel anger or bad in any way towards my support network when I am low and there is nothing anyone can do for me at that given time.
I feel pathetic even writing that, needy and full of unfair expectation, and that just compounds the issues I am struggling with, and makes me feel even more worthless.
I foresee a tough and lonely road ahead of me, and one I am not keen to even take my first step on, but if I want to overcome this, and rise once again, I really need to.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Sad as it sounds, but it f recent events have taught me anything, it's that I am destined to be single. Now I know that sounds dramatic, and maybe a little self pity in there too, but it's not like that at all.
When I say destined, I mean by my own hand, and not that on others. The more I look at my life, my needs, and how I conduct myself, the more I realise that the chances of finding someone compatible is very slim. Add to that my reluctance to go through the mill over and over til I find such a person, and there you have it. Destiny.
I have had my fair share of relationships, long, short, simple and stupidly complex. A couple of times I have come close to feeling like things were as good as they get, but getting back up from an encounter so close gets harder and harder.
Over the past few months I have been to hell and back with complex feelings and thoughts. Attempts at connecting with people, and the realisation that I'm just not very good at it. Unfortunately failed connections lead to a huge amount of self loathing, not to mention confusion in my already fried brain.
It's impossible not to feel the cause of these failures, or just poor attempts, and adding them to the trail of destruction that I already leave in my wake, and it all becomes a bit too much to deal with.
Friendship is where it's at. The best times are had with people you trust to be within an inch of your soul. Tighter within the inner circle than some can imagine a friend can be. Trust give you unlimited belief in yourself and what you and others can do together, and washes away any inhibitions you may hold.
Again, recent months have taught me this, and knowing I have a handful of people in my life willing to put up with me through my lows, and let me in when they feel the same way. It shows me a bond exists which I never thought possible. One which has no price, no end game. Just loyalty and trust to the death.
Thank you to anyone who has opened themselves up to me during this time, and sorry to anyone who I leave in my wake. Sorry for anything I may have done to you, and sorry you could not have the bond with me that others have sought and found.
Sometimes we need to take a step back from a situation we are in to truly appreciate it's value to us in life. Not always for the better though. Sometimes we are released from a situation we believed made us happy, but in truth just held us frozen in time, with no place to go, and no vision for a future. So here's to those who have set us free from such situations. Regardless of their intentions for this release, from afar, aside from the pain it causes us to be torn away, it is relief, and a second chance at our own lives.
So, going back to my point, I would take friendship with wonderful people, great times with great minds, and the security of knowing we form a bond together which protects us throughout our lives. Than gambling it all on "the one" and distance my self from great people, for the isolation of the company of one.
Does it make me sad? Of course it does. The embrace of another, the warmth of a loving soul by your side is something amazing. Something I have longed for for many years now, but failed to find. The warmth of another is by far the greatest thing I miss from a relationship. Not the ego, not the sex, just the simplicity of the desire of another, and feeling safe in the arms of someone who cares.
So there you have it. Months of depression, soul searching and confused situations, all wrapped up in one simple blog entry.
To friends, and simplicity.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Today I find myself caught in a simple loop, empty and alone. I want to scream out HELP ME!! at the top of my voice, reach out and grab hold of someone to I guess give me the attention and conversation I am craving. If this was a Facebook status it would be something as simple as the famous "FML", in the hope that the right person will read it in the right way, and reach out with a hand to lift me a little.
Trying to stave off an injury, I am less active than I would be usually, not impossible to get out and about, but anything I do alone will be excessive and harm my running for Friday. That is a blow I can't afford right now. The achievements there are one of the things keeping my morals head above water.
Starting conversations in my head, but getting no reply makes me realise that the solitude I sometimes seek, is not all it is cracked up to be. And the choices I have made regarding who I surround myself with, and how many, might have been a slight miscalculation as to how much contact and attention I need, especially right now.
Feb has never been a kind month to me, and as the years have gone by, quite frankly, as much as I try and deflect the feeling it gives me, it sucks. Cue the additional cyclone of destruction entering my head right now.
Confusion about how I feel, what my mind is trying to tell me, or the direction it is trying to pull me in. Shut the world out, or open the blinds and let a few bright rays of light through to warm me from within. Stop fighting and just give in to my mind, or refuse to be dragged to the depths that are calling.
Even my therapy group, surrounded by supposedly like-minded people, and therapists who "care", gives me anxiety for 2 days leading up to sessions. I think it is fair to say its not working very well for me.
The support I have had from some friends has been enormous, and far better than what is being offered on the NHS with CBT. But there comes a point where you feel you have exhausted your friends, and gone on for long enough. The thought of asking for their help causes anxiety. Even then, finding the right one to open up to and get everything off your chest is nigh on impossible.
I guess what I am saying here is quite simple. I know I am surrounded by wonderful friends, and I am eternally grateful for what you have done for me over the past months and years. But right now I am slipping badly, and feel I am in trouble, and I don't know who to tell, or what to say. I need someone, I need something, I have no idea what. I am a helpless captive in my own mind, too scared to ask for help, too proud to reach out. And far too conscious to bother anyone with what might seem so trivial.
Looking at the screen as I type, I am not getting across half the things in my mind, but am starting to realise how hopeless I feel right this very second.
I know it has been a long time since I shared a blog like this, but I felt it was the right thing to do. The irony of the whole thing is, if someone offers help, I am likely to play it down and brush it aside. If you have never felt this way, let me explain quickly.
You know something is wrong, you know what you need to do, you know how to do it..... But putting something into action where you enable yourself to do what you need to to recover and bounce back...... Seems just impossible.
Thanks for reading, and as usual, there is no physical danger implied in this blog, so please don't worry.
Just very trapped.