Guilty of feeling bad

Right now, it feels like every time you read the paper or watch a news broadcast, something else horrible is happening in the world. Innocent people are dying every day. And it is awful.

It can be difficult to relate to. I,for example, feel unbelievably guilty. I have my fair share of physical and mental health issues, and a lot of times it is hard to even hard to get dressed, never mind do something productive. But I watch the news, see the suffering of others who are much worse off than me. It starts the internal berating of myself, where I feel inadequate that I seem to have a lot, but I can’t deal. People have it worse. Someone said that at work today, to me. I didn’t offer a reply, but in my head, it reinforced the belief I was building up about myself.

It doesn’t make for a happy life. It makes every day feel like it’s double the length. My anxiety flares because i feel so guilty and unworthy, it causes my stomach to become unsettled so that every meal I eat, ends up in the sewerage system. It stops me from sleeping, I feel that if I can’t appreciate and enjoy my life, then maybe I shouldn’t wake up in the morning.

But, when in a calmer state, I realise everything I do is completely irrelevant to whatever disaster is in the news. Now, that sounds awful. But bear with me. My anxiety comes in different flavours. Sometimes my brain makes me feel unimportant, and sometimes it makes me feel responsible for EVERYTHING. So, the days where I feel hopeless, I try to break tasks down, like if I don’t process this task, a customer won’t get their refund. It is a small thing, but makes me feel I have a purpose.

When I am a bit more calm, like I am now, I can be logical. I can think of a way round my issues. But when anxiety hits, logic is furthest from my mind. I have donated to charities for the Manchester attack, the Grenfell Tower fire, and many others. Sometimes, feeling like I tried to give something helps calm my anxiety. But if you are struggling with current affairs and are feeling guilty or just questioning your place in the world, sometimes the best thing to do is to not constantly watch the news. I watch half an hour a day, and that’s it.

Don’t allow your mental health to bully you into feeling guilty for something you have nothing to do with. Which is hard, I know. You can also try to speak (or ramble online, like I do) about what you are feeling. If you are having a hard time health-wise, nothing should be-little what you are going through. And if someone tries to, ignore them. Look after yourself and those close to you.

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If you need mental health help visit The Samaritans

Donate to the Grenfell Tower fire fund, this situation is still ongoing, and the death toll is expected to rise. red cross appeal

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Absentee

I was going to write a post whining about why I haven’t been posting recently. But that is something that gets very boring, very quickly.

I have been spending my alone time getting re-aquianted with my Xbox. So I have been dying during Naruto Ninja Storm 4 and getting stuck in Yooka-Laylee. I have a very short attention span when it comes to games. I love playing them, but I get bored very quickly. Which is why, unless it is a game series I love, I will not pay full release price for a game. My favourite kind of games, usually revolves around fighting, platforming or racing. Games that usually have short events or levels, where I can progress through the game slowly.

I can’t see myself every paying £50 for a single game. In fact, I have noticed, that games, like many other things, are cheaper in other shops. Something that has been made more apparent, by the need for supermarket chains and Amazon to stock EVERYTHING. It means that whilst game specialists, like GAME, sell stuff for the RRP, Tesco’s sells the same game for (sometimes) £15-20 cheaper. Which is a lot of money. So many companies seem set on becoming a one-stop-shop, where you can get anything. You can order groceries through Amazon’s Alexa, and the stuff comes right to your door. It makes it so easy to be lazy, and just get everything together. It is less hassle. But, if it is something you really want, for yourself or a gift, then shop around. Check Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys, Argos, Amazon, GAME… there are so many options.

Is there any games I would like, in the future? Well the Naruto Ninja Storm saga is getting a full HD release, which looks cool. Because I never got the original games. And then Naruto Strikers which looks like a team fighting game. There is the South Park fighting game coming out at some point, which I am keen on getting as Stick of Truth was pretty great. I think the one game I would go all out for would be a proper console remake (or even re-release) of Road Rash. I mean online races, where you can just smack that player who cut you off, with a chain. I would love a new version of that game, but it doesn’t even pop up on the Mega Drive compilations. It makes me a sad panda.

I don’t get a lot of RPG games, I just struggle investing the time required to get anywhere in these stories. Zelda and the OG Pokemon games are probably the only RPG’s I can kind of play. I also have a low tolerance for first person shooters… well not all, just some. I like Gears of War, but can’t be doing with Call of Duty.  My problem is, that there is zero learning curve for playing online. Last time I played CoD online, I sucked, and got so much shit for it. That’s not why I play computer games, I play to relax.

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It’s A Very, Very Mad World

The world is a wide and varied place. It is filled with people, trying to make things better for their fellow man. However, there is also a lot of utter bastards to counter the good. Sometimes, it feels like all we see is the bad.

Sometimes it’s easy to be overwhelmed in the tragedies that unfold every day around the world. Innocent people dying in the cruelest ways. School buses blown up in Syria, a music concert in the UK, hospitals in Indonesia, lone women in India, gay people in Chechnya… The list is endless. Most of this hatred is brought on by a sense of entitlement and an intolerance of others. And it is horrible. What is a normal person to do? How are we supposed to feel when others act so horrifically?

I don’t think there is an answer. A lot of the time all we can do is watch the news reports and read articles online. You may sign a petition, or donate to a foundation just to help. To get a sense you are doing something. Anything.

You may be unable to do anything about events in any of the headlines you will read today, tomorrow or any day to come. The world feels cold and dark. But, you can try and take that darkness away. Even just for those around you. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Introduce yourself to your next door neighbour, or invite a lonely neighbour round for tea. Go visit relatives. Use social media to send good wishes to those who you might not talk to very much. Smile at the person who serves you your morning coffee.

As clawing as negativity can be, positivity is contagious. I know not everything will be sunshine and rainbows, but a lot of people are emotionally struggling in life. It shouldn’t take tragedy to bring people together, but it also doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Terrorism is something which wants to tear people apart. To split society into fractions, fractions that disagree and fight amongst themselves.

Let’s not let that happen. Let’s share love and togetherness instead of hate and intolerance. ❤️

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A Good Kind of Challenge

Life can be very boring if you fill it with things you have already done. Things can get boring and repetitive. How can you expect yourself to get any passion or love for life, if you are bored. If you don’t find joy in things, it is easy to lose all energy and the will to do anything at all.

Sometimes, doing something new is good for you. It can get the adrenaline flowing, and give you a bit of a thrill. Being able to do something new can help you find a bit of self-worth. And that is something that should never been sniffed at. Every single person should strive to do things that makes them feel better. Because once you feel that feeling of joyous achievement, you can get addicted to it. Something completely different to the old feeling of dwelling on your failures.

I remember seeing something somewhere, which said something along the lines of, ‘if you fail at something, it means your journey isn’t finished’. Which is very true. If you are unable to do something, you either try, or move on to something else. Failing to do something shouldn’t be a bad thing. Think it was a bad thing, is what has stopped me trying so much in my life.

In my work, I had to do some, what I would call admin work. It was a headache, because it is the normal kind of thing I can get flustered over, but I didn’t. I just got my head down, and did my best. Which was all I could do. And I have left with the job completed and feeling quite accomplished. Normally I would pass on something like that, but when that option was taken away, I just did it. I feel in a good mood as a result. Which, considering how I have been feeling lately, is a good thing.

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Distraction

After a crappy few days, there is nothing better than focusing yourself on a task to help calm any bad feeling you may have. It is one of those things that seems impossible to do at times. I guess the important thing is not to force yourself to do something, especially if it is something that you may enjoy. Because forcing yourself on something you actually like, may take the joy away. It is supposed to be a respite for you, not simply another thing to give you anxiety.

I know, with myself, when I have a ‘bad turn’, I usually have to ride it out. I always try to do something, but if I am not in the right frame of mind, then nothing will help. I can easily sit and stare at the same page of a book for an hour, or zone out and miss 2/3 episodes of a TV show. These things that are normally relaxing for me, don’t seem to have the desired effect. There was a time, when I was younger, I actually thought my ‘zoning out’ was simply another thing that made me broken. Because for a long time, that is what I thought of myself. An unfuctioning, broken person. It has taken years of work to realise that I needed to give myself a bit of a break. Being harsh on yourself for having shit mental health, just makes your mental health worse. It is a vicious circle.

When I realised this, I started giving myself a time scale. For example, still staring at the same book page after 15 minutes, close the book and give it a rest. It became a rule that I followed, something I had to train myself to do. Because, if I didn’t, I would do nothing, and then feel bad because I had done nothing. I think that is the hardest thing about trying to self-manage your mental health. You should be strict enough with yourself that you push yourself forward, but you don’t want to be too strict and send yourself backwards. It is hard, and something it has taken me many years to try and get better at. But, I am getting there slowly.

What can be a distraction? Well, anything really. Here is a wee list of things that I use to help me feel a bit better.

Go for a walk- This could be anywhere. Luckily we have a lot of coastal walks around where I live, and I find the smell of the sea air quite relaxing. No matter where it is, a walk is something that gives you the good feeling of exercise. You may go to the park, walk to the shops, walk to a friends or even just walk round the block. I love walking, as it always has the ability of helping me de-stress.

Listen to music- Music can be great. It is a good way to block the world out, which is good if that is what is giving you anxiety. I have a variety of music tastes, and one day I’ll be listening to Pantera, the next Steps, and then some Faithless. Because different things can trigger my anxiety, different music can ease it. Unfortunately, I have a habit of leaving my iPod (with my full music collection) at home, but that is where iTunes, Spotify or Amazon Music come in handy. Every few weeks I make a new playlist. I pick a range of songs, from all different genres. It means, I can have the playlist saved to my phone, have music that is for my mood (whatever that may be), and it doesn’t take up all my phone’s memory.

Watch a TV show- This is hit and miss with me. I don’t have a lot of patience to sit and watch a TV show a lot of the time. But when I am in the mood, I can sit for several hours with the same program. The main services I use are Netflix and Crunchyroll. Again, I have a variety of shows that I am working through. So I can put on The Big Bang Theory when I need background noise, Pretty Little Liars when I want to sit and focus on something longer than 25 minutes or Naruto because I LOVE NARUTO. This again, is because my mood is never the same 2 days in a row, so I like variety.

Watch Youtube- I am addicted to youtube. It is the app I go on to when I am getting ready for bed. I love the variety. I love the variety of content that I can find on there. Watching some daily vlogs do inspire me sometimes, by seeing how motivated other people are, it kind of motivates me. I also like retro gaming, tech stuff (mostly mobiles and computers) and anime (Naruto) commentaries. The good thing is with youtube, especially on the most frequent app updates, you can click one video, and it will automatically set a playlist with similar videos, that it plays automatically. It never fails to cheer me up.

Draw something- I used to be better at this, than what I am now. Nothing I do, ever, compares to how drawing and painting makes me feel. Because of the lack of practice I do, the quality is kind of crappy, but that doesn’t even really matter to me. Whether the cat I drew, looks like a cat, doesn’t matter. I have bought myself these colouring books (the colouring for grown-ups, ones), and as much as I do enjoy them, they aren’t the same as doodling my own wee pattern, and colouring that in. My sketchbook is a mess, but it is mine, and sometimes I can look back and see progress in myself, in how I feel. Which is nice.

As I have said before though, you can do almost anything to distract yourself if you are struggling with mental health. But, do remember not to force yourself to do anything, give it a go, but if you can’t focus, stop. These things are usually so good at being distractions, because you enjoy doing them.

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Mental health is hard. If you are really struggling, you can visit your GP for help. I have found both Breathing Space  and Samaritans to be very helpful. You are never alone as what you feel, and there are so many people out there to help. 

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Standing Still

I am getting really irritated about myself. I sometimes feel like I am making progress, with my mental health, but then just go backwards. It’s frustrating.

For example, last week was really positive. I was in a really good mood, which was helped by a quiet few days at work. So I had time to relax, catch up with friends and not working. Which is nice sometimes. However, this all ended by someone saying something negative to me. I feel really stupid, knowing that someone making a throwaway comment can effect me so much. It’s the kind of thing that makes me feel ashamed for feeling bad, and that I am a liability, and no one really needs to be around someone like that.

Thinking like this, is not nice. It is suffocating. Previously, I would just dwell on this feeling, and end up in a terrible state. Now, I try to reach out to people. Well, there is only a handful of people who I feel I can reach out to. This is not to be against people I know. If I feel bad, I feel like a burden. Which is how I tend to feel most the time. It is exhausting.

Afterwards, it is easy to say that any feelings of anxiety are irrational. But that doesn’t help that feeling of utter useless you get, when you are only barely treading water. It sometimes feels I am moving forward, only to come back to square one. But, when I do feel a bit better, I can think with slightly more optimism.

I may return to square 1 time after time, but maybe that square is moving further up the board as I go on. I mean I do know I am better than I even was last year. It is just unbelievably slow.

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Playlister

This sound really sad, but I like making music playlists. It is on a similar track of thought which states that organising things can actually relax a person. I have always made playlists, because I like to listen to a mixture of music. The love started from making mixtapes as a kid, taping songs off the radio or from albums I had at home. There was quite a bit of joy involved, when a person who you gave your mixtape too, liked it, and would maybe get into new bands.

Last month I made a playlist on Spotify, so that I could listen to a variety of songs I liked when I was making my way anywhere. If I am out and about, I usually listen to music on my mobile phone, purely because it’s portability. But, I never just want to listen to just one band or one genre. So, by making a playlist of different songs I like, I can listen to a wee variety, and not lose all the memory on my phone.

Because I have listened to the playlist a lot, I thought I’d make a new one for April. It might be something that I’ll try every month. The songs, that I selected this month are below.

Rancid- Timebomb

Good Charlotte- I Just Wanna Live

Emma Blackery- Nothing Without You

Tessa Violet- Not Over You

CKY- Escape From Hellview

Jimmy Eat World- The Middle

Waterparks- Stupid For You

Linkin Park- Breaking The Habit

Iron Maiden- 2 Minutes To Midnight

Mötley Crew- Kickstart My Heart

Skid Row- Wasted Time

The Stone Roses- She Bangs The Drums

The Strokes- Last Night

The Libertines- Can’t Stand Me Now

The Proclaimers- Sunshine On Leith

Skids- Into The Valley

The Clash- I Fought The Law

Stiff Little Fingers- Alternative Ulster

Dead Kennedys- Holiday In Cambodia

Minor Threat- Straight Edge

MC5- Kick Out The Jams

Fugazi- Bad Mouth

T.S.O.L- Code Blue

X-Ray Spex- Oh Bondage! Up Yours!

Linkin Park (feat Stormzy and Pusha T)- Good Goodbye

Alice Deejay- Better Off Alone

Darude- Sandstorm

Paolo Nutini- Caledonia

Anti-Flag-  Die For Your Govenment

The Bouncing Souls- Lean On Sheena

Propaganghi- Failed States

Lagwagon- The Cog In The Machine

Belle & Sebastian- Expectations

Lady Sovereign- Pretty Vacant

The Casualties- Tomorrow Belongs To Us

The Unseen- Paint It Black

Time Again- The Stories Are True

Choking Victim- 500 channels

Sonic Boom Six- Monkey See, Monkey Do

The Pietasters- Out All Night

If you want to listen to this playlist, please visit here. This is until i actually figure out how to post a playlist on here.

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