3. The F Word …

Fuck it! Two words that I’ve said a lot over the last two weeks. Ok, maybe not just the last two weeks but who’s counting?!

Peaks and troughs – one day I’ll learn to listen to my own advice.

So, I’ve left it a couple of weeks to write my third blog post. They say three is the magic number, however, I’m not feeling so magical. It’s more like Magic Mike meets Albus Dumbledore.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to act on my previous self-pledges: stop lying about how you feel, make changes to work/life balance, give something back and stop being self-critical.

Pffffttt! Where do I fucking start?! Cue, peaks, and troughs.

One of the things I like doing is a reflection on a Friday about what I’ve been getting up to throughout the week. It’s primarily work related but I’ve started extending it to the week in general. A reflection over the past two weeks has been pretty enlightening. “Why?!” And “Good Greif!!!” are phrases de jour.

Stop being overly self-critical – I’m still doing this but, I know it’s not going to happen overnight. The last two weeks have seen work pressures replaced with social pressures. I’ve put myself in situations that I thought I should be in when I didn’t need to. I need to learn to say no. I also need to learn that alcohol is not the key. I’ve had a pretty bad relationship with it over the past year. I’ve either not been drinking or getting so drunk that I’m fluent in Ozzy Osbourne!

More recently I had a brilliant pride weekend however, it was riddled with so many anxious thoughts, it wasn’t until over half way through the weekend that I really began to let myself enjoy it. I was too worried about what others thought. It made me act completely differently and I hated myself for it.

I’ve been riddled with anxiety, guilt, self-esteem issues and paranoia in environments that I feel I shouldn’t. When I’m out with friends I feel like I’m a completely different person on the outside to what’s happening inside. Its curtains up, the show’s started and my brain is telling my body to act in a way that I think I should to appease others.

This. Is. Wrong. Fuck it!

One of this week’s troughs (not a men’s convenience – Whuuuup!) happened today where I started a battle that I never intended and now fear that those who I respect and love now have very little respect for me. What’s worse, paranoia punches ensue after what was originally meant to be a gauge of people’s thoughts turned into heated opinions about society that at one point completely went over my head because I was overwhelmed by a reaction that I didn’t expect nor wanted from my original question. The problem with this is that I’m finding that being paranoid makes your thoughts incredibly debilitating. Whereas before I could hold my own today I wanted to curl up and run and even when I did that, it doesn’t stop. Instead, it taunts you for failing to carry on and inflicts hypothetical scenarios. This is bloody awful.

The group that I wanted so desperately to be back in contact with and feel apart of now feels completely different again. I want to run as fast and far away from it as possible because one view I hold and albeit can’t articulate very well, opposes others. It scared me how low I felt after it and I don’t know if this was the tablets or ego or anxiety but I just broke down into tears.

My first, second and third solutions for this is to leave it be, leave the environment and go back to containing my thoughts and feelings in my bubble. My bubble is safe, it’s only me. Had I done this, to begin with, I wouldn’t waste so much time fighting this shitstorm of self- abuse and thinking about things that I can’t change. Even if people did respect me less, the only way I can rectify that is by trying the be the best person I can. God, writing this helps so much .. You’re literally reading my trial of thoughts. Do you know what, fuck what others think of my views. I then stop myself from getting angry and low and behold I’m back to square one. Mental right?!

It’s not just scenarios like this that really hit home. It’s scary how quick you can get into a spiral of self-loathing. Part of the last two months has been trying to get to grips with The Big D. Depression. I find myself questioning the point of thoughts, feelings and being. It’s a place that I’ve skirted around and stamped out as quickly as possible and one that I’m determined to take control of. It’s why I keep putting myself in environments which I know can help but I just need to learn to refine and deal with as they come along. I’ll sort it, I just don’t quite know how yet.

Changes to work/life balance – ummmmmm, yea. So this is my third set of tablets and I’ve never experienced anything like it. Sorry, it’s not pretty. I’ve had more sleep in the last week than in the last month (yay!) however the headaches, toilet habits (don’t want to put you off your tea) and mood swings are really hard to keep track of. I’ve felt every type of emotion I can think of and whilst some people take drugs to get more feeling out of life, I’d be quite happy to settle to where I was before, complete with knitting needles and Gardeners World! Thank you very much.

Read the last bit with pursed lips, just for effect.

One thing I have enjoyed though is finding space … to … think. I don’t want to make this “dear diary” entry sound completely downtrodden and “woe is me”. Being off work has given me the opportunity to talk through things with my family. How events affect them and how they cope. I’ve also made a couple of new friends who are going through similar things which has REALLY helped make sense of what’s going on in my own bubble. If you’ve read this far it maybe because you’re going through something similar yourself … If so speak, write, compose, paint, draw and give yourself time to express what’s going on. It’s also at this point where we start the chocolate digestive ritual. Go on, grab five!

I went on a walk with a friend who really gave me a different point of view on things. Thinking about it, I might not always agree with everyone but, it has never stopped me from listening. It’s also never stopped me from thinking any less of people because they have their own views. The least I can do is think that others would do the same for me.

Lastly, giving something back. I’m running the 10k on Sunday for my little bro. I miss him every single day. I plan on flying over to Barcelona and visit the hospital and staff that looked after him and my parents. My hope is that it’ll allow me to grieve a little and show my appreciation for their help and being able to add something positive to what is currently a negative.

It’s true that others around you have a huge influence and Glyn certainly did. Although I haven’t finished fundraising just yet I want to be able to do something else. I found out that one of our neighbours goes around litter picking to keep our streets tidy. Something simple but really did make a difference to my mood when I found out. Do you do anything that gives back? I’m looking for ideas.

Now, do you want a slice of cheddar with that last paragraph?

Not the most uplifting thing I’ve written but something that’s true. A bit of a struggle but, habits, views, and life doesn’t change quickly all the time eh?! So, fuck it! Fuck the people who don’t really agree with every single thing you say or have an opinion on, no matter how eloquent, informed and educated they are. Fuck the feelings that cause you to feel debilitated and most of all FUCK THE BIG D!

God that bit felt good.



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