You Do You

What is the worst habit that you have?

Some would say smoking, not exercising enough, or drinking too much. I would say that most people’s bad habit should be talking about other people. Talking poorly about a person you don’t know, or only partly know.

A person only starts to think about this when it is them being spoken about. It is for them that an area turns quiet as they walk by, hushed voices giggling to one another. People speak, and sometimes their words get back to the person they are about. And when you are struggling to function, to hear others speaking nonsense can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Normally in this situation, people don’t realise the damage they have done till it’s too late. It can be hard to admit that the words that you have spoken could have really hurt someone. Because, that is never the intention. People talk rubbish about others to help ease their own frustrations about work, life, or whatever.

I know that I have been at both sides of this. I have talked crap, but I have also had crap said about me. And it is something that I have been thinking about a lot. I know that, personally, I want people to like me. I want to be friends with everyone. Of course, that is something that is not always possible, you cannot please everyone. And, to hear that people don’t like me to the point that they’d talk as soon as my back was turned, broke my heart. I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong. I would worry about something like this for weeks. I would analyse every little thing I did, to see if there was anything that would offend anyone. It’s compulsive and irrational, but I can’t help it.

Recently, I’ve tried to change things. Focus on myself, and do what makes me happy. I wouldn’t purposely harm anyone or anything, and that should be my focus. Some people won’t like me, but that’s okay. I’m going to just try do what I like. Keep my mind busy, so that I don’t worry so much about what other people say. It’s easier said than done, though.

A Little Lost

This time of year is one where people often complain that they don’t know what day it is. This is mostly due to the festive period being a time where a lot of people are off work. It’s perfectly normal.

There is also this feeling of feeling in between two different emotions. Christmas is a time to show thanks, be grateful for what you have. And New Year is about looking forward to the future, step away from where you currently may be. Or that is how it has felt for me.

The festive period has been really difficult this year, due to a family loss. It has left me between being thankful for what I have, and wanting to move on. I am glad that there is people around, friends and family. But I also am afraid that stepping forward will lessen the memories I have. Honestly, I think every person feels like this with a loss, but Christmas just seems to exaggerate these feelings.

So, I feel like I am sitting in limbo. Time forces me forward, despite my wishes. It doesn’t matter whether I am ready, things move on. Doesn’t make things any easier though.

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.

Pause For Thought

There are times where, despite all the best intentions in the world, nothing you want to do gets done. Now, a lot of people assume that it is laziness that causes things to be left undone. But that isn’t always the case.

When I have a bad time with my mental health, I seem to function, just barely. I go to work, I eat, and I try to sleep. But that’s it. Trying to do anything additional, like housework can be very difficult. Sometimes it is hard to see past the end of the day, let alone actually do something by my own accord.

I try to collect myself, by thinking about where I am. Try to get myself amped up enough to do what i need to do. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s the thing about life, sometimes things don’t work out, but you have to keep trying.

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.

Objective Silences

People will always say things, and do things that will get under your skin. Some things can really wind you up. And it can take all your power to bite your tongue and walk away.

Facebook is a big place where this happens. Sometimes the people you work, have drinks or study with have polar opposite opinions to yourself. That is good, because not everyone has the same take on the world. We are all different. But everyone has some barrier that some attitudes break. For me, things regarding animal rights, human rights, mental health and LGBT rights are amongst the things that I care about most. So, when I see someone posting some ill thought out bad attitude which goes against my beliefs I can get angry.

I have lost count how many times I have typed a vicious comment, and deleted it before I posted. These attitudes are borne of ignorance, people don’t know the subject well enough, it’s not entirely their fault. But, I also believe it is good to understand things with a caring perspective. I had someone call me a faggot at work, and when I talked to the guy, its because that is what everyone he knows things. When I pointed out that we got on okay, and that the word can be damaging to a lot of people who work with us and are part of the LGBT community. He admitted it was just a word, and he hadn’t thought about the effects of it at all. He apologised and we are okay.

I think education is a huge part of my things, but I don’t feel that Facebook is the place to deal with these things. So, I leave the comment, and mute the user. If they continue being so bigoted and stupid, I will pop them a message and delete them from my life. I don’t need some person I worked with once, telling me I am fat because I should stop eating and that I don’t to learn to love myself because I am ugly inside and out. And then they have the nerve to say ‘it wasn’t about you, I wasn’t talking about other people’.

Always stand up for what you believe in. But, sometimes arguments aren’t worth it. A person you don’t have anything in common with, who thinks it’s funny that people struggle with sexuality or that people dying senselessly, can be dismissed. Social media is great with this, as you can block anyone.

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

Bad Connection

You don’t need to read very much here, to realise that I can get stressed out over nothing. Silly things, can have such an adverse effect on my mood. It doesn’t even really matter what it is, really. But that happens to everyone.

These days, we are so used at getting anything we want so easily. Years ago, if we wanted to know anything, we would have to have went to a library and researched. Now? A simple internet search can find you everything from historical information, to recipes, to watching cartoons. No longer do people have to wait months for new programmes to air in their respective countries, they can find an online service to stream content the same day as it is aired in the country of origin. I tell you now, my 12 year old self, would be utterly spellbound by this concept alone.

However. The internet becoming so important in daily life, does create an issue. Especially, when like today, your connection to the internet is a steaming pile of donkey shit. Yes, my internet connection, both my home broadband, and mobile 4G, have been playing up. It means, that it has taken till this time of night (10.30pm) before I could get a connection steady enough to post this. That is flaming ridiculous. Couldn’t listen to Spotify, couldn’t watch Naruto (sshhhh… don’t judge) and I had problems messaging my friend, because I use Whatsapp or Facebook messenger. I was angry. For most of the day.

It does make me think, what would I do if there was no internet. If I wanted to sit by the TV, I’d have to put on a DVD or stick to the schedules, instead of watching Youtube or … Naruto. (I am obsessed with Naruto, like a child, all over again.) I think it is very easy to take for granted on how simple it is to stay in contact with people, thanks to services such as Facebook. A service that can even link with your calendar on your phone or PC, to remind you of events or birthdays. The internet has simplified so much, that when it isn’t there, we come to a loss. If there is no connection to the web, everything can seem like it takes so much more extra effort.

Maybe we have just got lazy.

Lost In It All

Just looking at the Internet today, not searching for anything in particular, just looking. Something that I don’t do very often. I am good at commenting on everything, and putting in my two cents on whatever is going on. 

Sometimes, I think we get too much information thrown at us, mostly by the Internet. It gets a bit hard to process it all. It is also hard to distinguish what is important, particularly on social media. Twitter and Facebook have a habit of promoting the useless twaddle that fills up the gossip sites. If you like that kind of thing, it’s okay, nothing wrong with it. But how can you tell what’s important when the going-ones in I’m A Celebrity is given more promotion than the story about Parliment voting to bomb Syria? 

It just gets a bit overwhelming at times. Like information overload. The press has always had the finger pointed at it for over-hyping one story, to mask over another one. A way of attempting to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. And that made a lot of people bored with the press, and turn to sides like Twitter and Reddit for more direct news. But when companies can pay for an allocated number of retweets, how honest is what we actually see? 

That’s what I sometimes think about, and to be honest it freaks me out sometimes. There are so many different ways to get information these days, and a lot of the time, every take is slightly different. So what has been added for effect. Is that ‘first hand source’ really telling a true story. You never know. 

As good as the Internet is for finding out information about the world we live in, sometimes I think it would be easier if all the web was used for was Netflix.

Fear Of Being Bias

My plan was to write a blog on both sides of the independence debate, which is currently going on in Scotland, with a vote due to take place in a few days. I was going to blog facts from either side, to make something that people can read through. I thought that would be a simple tactic, be honest and impartial. It, however, has not been that easy.

I started out the campaign, sitting in the ‘No’ camp. And thought that writing about the debate would help clarify what I thought, whilst cleaning through all the BS that occurs in politics. Since the debate was announced, I planned to write. But I couldn’t. I struggled to find information to make my writing coming across as balanced. I read books, watched the TV debates, spoke to campaigners and researched online. The ‘Yes’ information seemed to be very positive, and sold their aims with passion. The ‘No’ information seemed to be negative, and concentrating on debunking what their opposition said.

Now, that of course is a bit of a generalisation. But because I hit a dead end at the start of the campaign, I felt I would leave it for a time when things would be more ‘padded out’. So that anything that I posted, would accurately represent both sides of the debate, as this was something that I felt was missing. I left it for a while. And, then a little bit longer. And now, in 48 hours voting will be over. And I still don’t feel that I can accurate represent both sides equally. So, I made the decision to back-step. I think as the debate has gone on, I have felt my mind change as I researched more and more. It also began to dawn on me how difficult it would be to write about something that has a direct impact on myself, and try to be impartial. When something is going to affect you, your brain is always going to try and think on one side or the other. Maybe that is a fault in my writing, that I can’t seem to write past my own opinions.

But that honesty of my own opinions, is something that I have always written about in this blog. I feel that being honest with myself, makes me honest with any readers. And some of the nonsense that is passing back and forth in this debate, is just lies. And I don’t feel comfortable passing on lies and exaggeration as if it were facts that could help make up someone’s mind. And if someone is unsure, I’d re-direct them to http://www.bettertogether.net and http://www.yesscotland.net. Personally, I am still swithering, but am leaning more towards a ‘Yes’ vote. Maybe it is time for a change? The government doesn’t seem to understand a lot, and independence will hopefully do more for the rest of Britain too.

I feel like the big point I need to make is to remind people to tolerate one another. This debate on whether Scotland has created quite a large division between people. Those who believe we are better as British, and those who believe Scotland needs to do it alone. Yes, the vote is the most important thing to happen to Scotland in a generation, but every voter is only acting on what they believe will be best for us. Best for our country. Best for our future. A person who hasn’t researched online isn’t ‘stupid’, a person who wants to dream isn’t ‘delusional’. What seems obvious to one person is not obvious to everyone. Every person is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions, and should be allowed that. This vote is a democratic one. This means, that you have to allow others to vote what they want, without FEAR or INTIMIDATION.