2020, Uncategorized

Work In Progress

I explained in earlier posts, that one of my aims for 2020, was to try and be a lot more creative. Something that always helps me boost my creativity is to ‘refresh’ things. I feel like it allows me to mentally draw a line under what has happened already, and focus on what is coming next. It is not foolproof, and sometimes I still struggle, but it is always worth a try.

Over the next week or so, this blog is going to be changing a wee bit. I am going to try and find a new layout that suits what I need, and personalise it a wee bit. I think that refreshing online accounts is always a good thing. It also means that if you don’t feel like you use a service or site anymore, you can get rid of it. Lessen the load, if you know what I mean. This is all the more important, if you read the reports on how so much social media, and web services, are causing people anxiety due to the pressure of ‘trying to keep up’.

Luckily, keeping this blog is something that actually helps me mentally. I don’t think many people I know actually read it, so there is no pressure. I can write honestly, which helps document my journey. I have kept this blog for years, so I do feel that it deserves some TLC every now and then. To be honest, when I fell out with the graphic design stuff, a few years back, I started to find being creative so much harder. I felt that the stuff that came freely to me, wasn’t good enough, and it broke my flow. If that makes sense.

So, if things look a bit odd over the next week or so, that is all it is. A wee freshen up.

2020, Uncategorized

A Good Bye

Goodbye is hard to say.

It is these days, anyway.

In childhood, goodbye was never really goodbye. There was the promise that it was more of a ‘see you later’ than actually parting ways forever. You’d see the person at the next break, after school, at the play park, or even in a few days. Most of the people you leave, you will see again, and the phrase ‘goodbye’ doesn’t feel negative.

However, as you get older, the promise of seeing people once you’ve said farewell, isn’t always so certain. People start to leave your life, and they never come back. It becomes harder and harder to say goodbye. Because the promise that was once there, the idea you’d always see the person again, has gone.

Goodbye mean last forever. Until the time comes that it does.

2019

Not Everyone’s Pal

Anxiety has a habit of convincing a person, that everyone hates them. Or I get that anyway. That I could be the nicest person in the world, and everyone will still hate me. Over the years, it’s a feeling that has become so overwhelming that I try to make the opposite happen.

I feel like I have to be liked by everyone. I try to be friendly and helpful. I try to be the kind of person I like. Sometimes it’s like I become a Labrador, who is up in everyone’s business because they crave a pat on the head. But sometimes, I can be the nicest person in the world and someone still won’t like me.

I haven’t done anything wrong, but this other person doesn’t see eye to eye with me. And I take it really personal. Why don’t they like me? What did I do wrong? And my mind jumps to the worst conclusion, that everyone really hates me, they just don’t tell me that. It makes me become hyper aware of every little thing I do, as if I am trying to find the annoying bits.

If logic played a part in mental health, it would tell me that what I was feeling was silly. That not every person in the world is going to become friends, and that is okay. Doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong. It’s just the way life is sometimes.

Unfortunately, logic rarely has any space in my anxious wee brain.

2019

Take a Break

I am currently working my way back home to Scotland, after being away in the sunny climates of Cyprus for a week. I don’t usually do a holiday at this time of year, as it is normally time for me to buckle down at work for the busiest time of the year. But Scotland’s national football (soccer) team were playing there, so me and my friend took the chance to get some winter sun.

There has been a lot of things in my life that have been stressing me out recently. It is very easy for stuff to stress me out, the anxiety I suffer from has the habit of blowing things out of proportion. And instead of wallowing, I am trying to focus on the ‘good stuff’ to get me through the harder times. Whether it’s gigs, holidays or a new movie coming out, it is nice to look forward to something.

This holiday, could not have come at a better time. It was nice to get away to the sun, blue skies and fun. Scotland away games attract the Tartan Army, a name given to the Scotland fans who support their side through thick and thin. It is always so much fun when everyone gets together, and the good thing is, that everyone is so friendly and accepting. And when you start going to a few away games, you start to become friends with people, and the trip becomes a meet-up. Barbecues, alcohol and music, makes a great trip.

Cyprus was a beautiful country. We stayed in Pathos, which is at the bottom of the small island. The thing I like about Cyprus is that there is a lot of historical monuments, throughout the country, and everything seems built around them. For example, 5 star resort, Alexander The Great, has historic tombs, fenced off throughout the property. I suppose it is nice to seem them conserving some history, even if I feel they shouldn’t really build on something that is significant. The UK has a habit of knocking things down, and then going ‘whoops, that was important’ .

What was a shock was coming from 26 degree days, to minus 1, when we landed in Luton last night. I almost climbed back in the plane and wanted to go back. But, for me to do the good stuff, I also need to work. So home tonight, and back to work tomorrow. Hopefully feeling as refreshed as I feel right now. I doubt it.

2018, ramblings

Head In Sand

Recently I haven’t been sharing at all. Which is not like me, but it’s hard when you are dealing with something that you’d rather not be dealing with.

Unfortunately, life is not that kind. I have been sick, had a major crash with my mental health, had course work due in and the busiest time of the year for the ol’ day job. And it all kind of left me functioning, but that was it. I didn’t want to talk about it, still don’t, because I didn’t want to think about how much stuff was happening all at once. It’s kind of calmed down a little, my coursework is done and Christmas is a week a way, which means no overtime. And it’s allowing me a little time to reflect on why I burrowed myself away from the internet.

For years the internet was where I could let my feelings go, where I could write about stuff that no one cared about. It was very therapeutic and it was completely disconnected from my real life. However, every day there seems to be more merging of both my private life and the one I talk about on line. People who I know in real life, are able to access what I am writing.

Now, this doesn’t seem like a huge problem for some, as they see things being made public, and surely it doesn’t matter who reads it. But… that’s not really how it goes. In my life, I try to put a smile on as I soldier on through whatever the day throws at me. Inside, I may be falling apart, but I don’t want people to see it. I always feel like my mental health issues makes me a burden on others, so I don’t want them to know. That way people don’t feel pressured into being nice, they are being nice because they want to, not because I’m not right in the head. And when these people I share my daily life with can read what I really feel, I feel like I have let them down. I mean, surely I should be able to talk to folk, right?

So, sometimes it is easier to bury my head in the sand. Pretend things are okay, when they aren’t. It’s not perfect. But, it can get me through times where I don’t have the strength to deal with questions about things that I don’t know how to put into words. That’s what writing helps me do, sometimes, put what’s in my head into words that (kind of) make sense.

2018

Celebrate Good Times

Life has the unfortunate ability to feel like utter shit sometimes. It isn’t because anything bad actually happens, just that your perception of everything is rather rubbish. It happens to everyone, some folk more than others, and it can be hard.

Personally, I sometimes feel like my brain is tripping me up, by being negative about stuff that I shouldn’t even give a second thought. But that is not how my brain is wired, the rational thinking seems to be missing. And, it is very easy to get stuck. To become too busy nitpicking over the small things, because thinking about the ‘big stuff’, just seems to be too real and scary. I become stuck in a bubble, like a play I did at Primary School, where a girl floats away in a bubble, to a land filled with monsters. (I have no idea what it was called, I did try to find out.) Everything in the play ends up happy because it was aimed at kids, of course. But, the feeling of feeling like I am in a bubble surrounded by the scary monsters of the outside world, is a metaphor that seems to hit a little too close to home. And, although I do know that the story will end up okay, in the end, facing these monsters of reality just seems a bit too hard to bear. It becomes easy to hide in my little bubble. Like an invisible wall is protecting me from whatever bad stuff is coming. It’s not. It sounds a bit mad. And I am aware of that.

Sometimes, there are things, events, that requires to step out of your little bubble for a while. And it can be so anxiety-inducing, it is ridiculous. Sometimes, you can tip your toes into the big, wide world, and that’s it. And, that is okay. Sometimes. This metaphorical bubble, that I am using to describe my own mental health, can become a burden. Your mental health becomes a burden on YOU. And, that always makes me feel that it will also be a burden on other people. That me, and my bubble of despair, has the ability to ruin any social event or occasion, just by being there. And, when you start thinking that, it becomes all too tempting to reply ‘I’m busy’ to every invitation that you get. Thinking that everyone will have more fun without you. And that thinking is just your mind trying to keep you in your bubble, and not expose you to the possible monsters outside.

Sometimes there are events, like weddings and big birthdays, that you feel you have to attend. And sometimes, you can find the will to push outside your bubble, and do something for someone else. For me, I have to focus on the other person, because the moment I think about myself, at all, I will climb back into my bed and ignore my phone. Focus on the smiles, focus on the good times you have had before. Previously, for me, this has worked. I focused on how much the event meant for the person, or people, that I know, and I wanted to make them happy. It allows me to forget about the bubble I spend my life in and celebrate something great.  And, I didn’t feel anxious at all. It was like my bubble was left at home. It felt like I could still be genuinely happy, and it was freeing.

Now, I know that going to one event isn’t going to completely fix everything. My mental health is still like a badly scrambled egg. But, for a while, it can be nice to step away from that mess, and just experience something for what it is. I have suffered mental health problems for over half my life now, and I have come to terms that it is something that I need to live with. But it is good to know that sometimes, the life that can be sometimes so unbearable to live, still has good stuff to enjoy. And that good stuff has to be what pulls us through the bad stuff. It is sometimes necessary to remind yourself of that, once in a while.

2018

Take a Breath

Been needing to take time out recently. Stepping away from the stuff causing me to get worked up. It is a thing that sounds very straight forward, but you can easily fall in to the trap where you believe you are ‘coping’.

A walk to the coast sometimes helps.

I have been trying to recognise what situations get me frustrated or triggers my anxiety. If I do get them, I go for a walk. Even if it is just 5 minutes outside, it helps clear my mind, as it takes me away from whatever situation is making me feel panicked. It really does help. I think it goes hand in hand with the explanation that exercise can make you happy.

If I can go for a walk, because it sometimes isn’t possible, I just stop what I am doing and take a few deep breaths. It’s just focusing on your breathing, that helps calm me down.