2020

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.

2020

My 2020 Vision

Happy New Year.

What do I want for the year?

Try to experience life in the moment: I sometimes worry too much about what could happen, rather than focus on what is actually happening. It is something created by my anxiety, but I want to try and change how I think about stuff. It seems hard, but it’s worth a try.

Get healthier: this is on a lot of people’s resolution list. I don’t care about weight really, I just want to feel better. I am trying Veganuary, in the hope I will feel better. Luckily a lot of people are trying it, so there is so much support. Again, I might not get it perfect, but it has to start from somewhere.

Draw more: I think I used this last year. I have purchased an Apple Pencil to use on my iPad, so that I can draw digitally. I just need to practice more. It’s always hard using a new tool, but it is something a wee bit exciting. If anything decent happens, I’ll share on here.

Write more: this is definitely something I did say last year. But 2019 kicked me in the butt quite hard. My mental health was rubbish, and that lead to me not wanting to do much at all. So, I hope that I post more than I did in 2019, which shouldn’t be too hard.

That’s it.

I like giving myself vague targets, because it makes it slightly easier to aim for. Because sometimes, if you fall too far behind, you just give up. Or I do.

2019

Blogmas day 1 of…

Every time I see a challenge for blogging, I want to join in. I want to see myself do something, than I can say was successful. Because, I will be honest, me and success don’t necessarily go hand and hand. I am a serial failer, it is like a talent. Not a talent anyone actually wants to have, to be honest.

The aim of blogmas is to create something every day of December and post it online. It is supposed to be a boost to your creativity, something to help kickstart flagging creativity. It sometimes works. A lot of the time I don’t keep up with anything, and I fall begging after a couple of days.

This doesn’t mean that I can’t try. I am optimistic, but life is rather busy at the moment. I know a lot of people are very good at being creative regularly, and when speaking to them, they have said that constantly challenging yourself is essential to keeping creativity alive.

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.

2019

Social Media Care

I remember when I started using social media, many years ago (in fact, 10 years ago), it was a place of excitement. It was new for everyone, it was filled with normal folk, as advertisers hadn’t really jumped on the bandwagon yet. Social media became a place of freedom of expression. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this isn’t the case anymore. No matter what you express, it feels like there are always people about to try and pick holes in what you say. Like, I try to be kind and advice-like when I write, but people like to jump on what I say to be all ’that isn’t how it is to me, so you are lying’. And these people are usually anonymous profiles who seem to spend all their time hating other people.

It is important to look after yourself in an atmosphere that can be so destructive. So, I thought up I few things that I use, when social media gets to me.

1) Block button. Every social media site has the ability to mute or block certain users. This is good. You might have a friend who is posting annoying rubbish for a TV show you hate, you can mute them for a while. This means, you are still following them, but you don’t see their content for a while. Blocking means that the person is unfollowed, can’t see what you post or anything on your profile. This is a good way to cut out people who may be harassing you.

2)Take time out. Go for a day or so without social media. I usually simply put my phone on airplane mode for a few hours, like when I am studying, so that I can focus without the constant pinging of my phone. If that isn’t enough, and you want a few days away from the distraction of your Facebook timeline, delete the app from your most used device. A lot of the time, we check social media constantly because it always seems to be there. And it not being there, can free up a lot of time.

3)Don’t read bad comments. Sometimes, you could post a picture of an apple on Instagram, and it would attract bad comments. If you see this happening, try not to feel down. These people seem to get some kind of thrill of bringing people down. You can disable comments on many social media services, as well as make it so only your friends can comment. You will find that people are a lot less confrontational if they know you, or have to share their identity.

4) Just laugh. Try not to take social media too seriously. A lot of the content that you will be shown on sites like Facebook and Twitter are there to get a reaction. So they will either be content you agree with, or content you massively disagree with. For example, I would say I am ’left-leaning’ when it comes to politics, so the stuff I get shown is either supporting that stance, or is wildly opposing those views. So, try not to take everything as gospel, and just laugh when people do. It also can defuse a situation building up within yourself, as laughter does make you feel better.

5) Be kind to yourself. If you find anything on social media to be causing any kind of negative reaction to yourself, then step away. You are the only you there is, so it’s important you look after yourself. If there is too much BS happening, then go and read a book, play a computer game or whatever social media is distracting you from.

You can be selective over what you show on social media, and it’s important to remember that. Because everyone else is too. A lot of people show part of themselves, whether it be a nice or a nasty side. So if someone attacks you, then remember it is just what they think they see, it’s not actually you.

2019

Radio Static

There is a constant chittering of noise in my brain. Some would call it ‘white noise’, the kind of noise that allows for intense focus. Except, the racket rattling around inside my head is so loud that it doesn’t allow for any type of focus at all. Which in itself is a headache, especially when you require focus.

When I was younger I used music to drown out the nonsense. The internal monologues that berated every action I undertook, and it was exhausting. So sometimes it became easier to avoid things, to bury my head in the sand. If everything I did was so bad, then why do anything at all. But, this didn’t fix anything. I felt as big a failure in my bed, as I did at my job. It didn’t matter what was going on in my life, I was never able to silence that ‘inner critic’.

To get past this overly critical thing, you have to re-train your brain and how you think. And that is what I have been trying to do over the last few years. Whilst, I am a lot more productive than what I used to be, I still have a very long way be able to believe in myself and what I do 100%. My mental health is still up and down, in general, but I am taking steps to make it better. And that is all that a person can do really. Battle to find an alternative to the static.


2018

Not All Bad

I use this blog a lot for complaining and talking about my mental health. Whilst, this has become a good place, where I can let all my agro out, it also gives the impression that all I do is wallow. Which, is actually untrue. I am very guilty of focusing on the ‘bad stuff’, but that just seems to be how my brain is wired. So, today, I am making a conscious effort to write about 5 positive going-ons in my life. I say 5 because sometimes I find it hard to think of any so this may be challenging.

  1. I became an Auntie. Last week, my little nephew Carter was born. He is so tiny and cute. We haven’t had a baby in my immediate family since my sister was born, and she is now 21. When my sister was born, I was 13 and was going through that terribly angsty, teenage phase. I wasn’t as ‘hands on’ as I could have been, and that has always made me feel a little bad. But, with baby Carter, I just want to cuddle him and help out however I can. The presence of a baby works as a reminder of not squandering life, or to me, it is anyway.
  2. Continuing my studies. This is a big one for me. I really struggled to keep ‘on top’ of my studies last semester, but I kept at it and managed to hand in my last assessment on schedule. My second year starts this week, and I am excited. I am studying towards a degree in IT and Computing, and last year was mostly an introduction. It is a course which I am doing through the Open University, which allows me to work my full-time job, as well as studying. It is a good way to try and get better job prospects for the future, still having a full-time wage. The next part of my course includes networks, robotics and automation. This is things that my work uses to get things done, so I am hoping that I can link them both together.
  3. Always at work. The last time I experienced bad mental health, I took a lot of time off work. This time around, I haven’t missed a single day. My managers and the team I work with have been super supportive when I have bad moments. I tend to cope better if my mind is occupied, the moment my brain starts to wonder is when I start panicking. My work is very good at making sure I am doing a variety of tasks, and this keeps me occupied. Work is exhausting, but it is really good that I have still stuck at it.
  4. Creativity. Doodling, writing, photography and video making. All the things that I like to do. I am not the best, but these things make me feel better. And sometimes, especially when you tell someone that you write a blog or film videos, you get dismissed. Did you know that being creative is something that people can ‘grow out of’? I didn’t. But apparently keeping a blog as I stumble through adulthood is frowned upon. People do say mean-spirited things, but I try to ignore that. Creating stuff gives me joy, and nobody should be able to take that away.
  5. Friends. I have super supportive and friendly people around me, something I don’t focus on enough. I always have people to meet with and chat to. I know that if things get really bad, I can PM  so many people for help. But a lot of the time, I just need a distraction from whatever is going on in my brain, and my friends offer that. Whether it is having a moan about work, going for dinner or playing computer games, it is good to disconnect from my feelings sometimes. But it is good that I can then be there for them too if it is needed.