Nightly notion #13…. dancing wallpaper & subtle tones….

The design of the wallpaper above me shifts and swerves, contorting as my tired eyes strain to see through the pitch black. Sleep doth evade me once again.


With Claire De Lune playing softly, I feel a surreal moment of calm drift over me. As if I were no longer frustrated by the sleep deprivation. I’m content at watching the wallpaper dance and the subtle tones of Debussy play away. Am I actually asleep? Is this a dream?


If so, to wake now would be a travesty. To break this feeling of peace would feel wrong. I’m exhausted, yet I’m calm. Not a worry or thought other than what I hear and see.


It’s night’s like this that make me wonder, is sleep that important when I can be at my most comfortable and relaxed while awake?


Sleep will inevitably happen at some point, for an indeterminate amount of time. And it will be highly appreciated. Sleep I must and sleep I will, dreaming of the tranquillity that prevailed before it.


That’s all I have to say, goodnight 😊

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Thirty….just a number….

So I turned thirty on the 12th of January, and I feel…… exactly the same. Age is simply a number. Some people ask ‘how does it feel?’ and I answer the only way I know how, with minimal wording and minimal thought, ‘exactly the same’.


I often think about what I have to show for thirty years on this earth, the answer being not a lot. But that isn’t entirely true….I’ve only been an adult for just over a third of that….and I’m still striving to be a better me, albeit in a different sense than two and a bit years ago.


The thought process behind an age, a time spent alive, is a sobering thought as well as a reminder that you’re still you, still fighting and still wanting more. Granted, there have been times where I didn’t want more, I wanted an end. I didn’t want a better me, I didn’t even want a me. With times of positivity, age is like time, it continues to roll on but it doesn’t matter how long it takes, perfection isn’t around the corner, nor is it a possibility. So life is a work in progress. Progress to always be better than the day before and if you don’t feel that sense of achievement there’s always tomorrow.


I read back over my ramblings sometimes and wonder why I can write these things yet fail to put them in to practice. Heed your own advice and take each day as it comes, ignore a ‘bad day’ and try again tomorrow. It’s a mind-set that confuses the bejesus out of me yet it makes perfect sense!


So I’m thirty. Thirty years a boy, a man I aim to become, a success story, a person I can be proud of and one day I’ll look in the mirror and be glad that I am me!!


Sweet dreams y’all!
Love Smiley 😊😊

Jibber-jabber at dawn #7….T’is Christmas!…

It’s Christmas! I saw it arrive and I continue to stare at the ceiling. I’m not frustrated by this, I’m just vacant. To think all the hype, the build up is for one day….today….this day that I analyse the pattern on my ceiling, the same pattern that stares back at me whether it’s Christmas or mid July. Maybe I’m just a Grinch….bah humbug….a Scrooge….I don’t know. Just the very idea that one day among 365 is built up for months kinda kills it for me.

I remember a time that I’d be staring at a different ceiling feeling so much excitement I felt as if I were a firework ready to blow! It was a lovely feeling and I wish I could get back to that. Just enjoy and take it for what it is, a celebration regardless of anything else.

Like I said in the previous post, we had our family meal and did the Christmas thing two days ago, and it was lovely. I could see past the build up and just enjoy the day. Maybe that’s why I feel so vacant today, through exhaustion after allowing myself to freely enjoy that day. I sometimes forget I’m not aloud to have a good time, my head doesn’t approve and will punish accordingly.

Maybe I’m just feeling like this because of the same old pattern staring back at me, added to the lack of sleep and that lovely day. Maybe I’ll be alright later, festive and raring to watch Christmas films, eat left over turkey and cake/chocolate galore. Even wear a Santa Clause jumper and some elf slippers jus because!

Like I’ve said, it’s a tough time of year, but I hope this rambling hasn’t ruined it for anyone. I hope you all have a fantastic day, enjoy it for what it is, take it by the horns and make the most of it. Eat so much you can’t move. Listen to Christmas songs until they play like white noise in your noggin and watch – It’s A Wonderful Life, Die Hard, Home Alone, Miracle On 34th Street – and many more until you fall asleep. A sleep so heavy you may miss New Year!

Merry Christmas everyone, muchas loves

Smiley 😊

Nightly notion #12….fingers and festivities….

This time of year is a tough one. Not necessarily because of all the booze flying around through adverts and parties on social media etc, but more the memories and possible interaction/visitors. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely to see family and friends over the holidays, but the festivities seem to bring a strange pressure.

As far as visitors go, there are too many fingers on one hand to count them, however, not enough on both to count the memories and bad thoughts that perch themselves on my lap. My life seemed to miss a year, starting around this time two years ago. Shit hit the fan to maximum effect and just kept on spinning. Uncontrollable drinking and thinking, an imploding mind, anger and an emergency visit to the psychiatric hospital after a complete breakdown. These are things I would like to forget but never will.

There was a time I really loved going all out for Christmas, no stress was too much stress and if I wasn’t completely shattered by around 4pm I mustn’t have gone hard enough. I’d play it down, stating I wasn’t a big fan of it, but this wasn’t true. Even in my early twenties I’d wake up Christmas morning….if I’d slept at all through the excitement…giddy as a four year old! It was just a special time!

Being an alcoholic, Christmas has never really been much different to any other time. A drink was a drink, any time……all the time, anywhere as always. So now two years in to recovery, not drinking at Christmas is the same as not drinking throughout the year. But the memories still prod and poke fun at me. The presence of family/friends becomes too much and space, peace and clarity are hard to find even when they’re gone.

Today, however has been wonderful. Flagging towards the end but I made it through with a smile. Our Christmas was a little early due to family travel arrangements so we ate, played board games and ate some more today….well yesterday. No doubt my body will wake tomorrow a few hours before my brain, and the possibility of doing anything constructive is not on the cards. But today was lovely, a reet good time 😊

Jibber-jabber at dawn #6….from parfait to pickle….

So 4 hours was all I was allowed….I’ll take it! A successful nights sleep!


I dreamt of cooking. Cooking my food for anyone and everyone, my very own restaurant once again, like the old one. It was nice to dream of cooking again, a welcome blast from the past.


Perhaps today I’ll get in the kitchen. Capitalise on this dream, create some fire……whilst doing my upmost not to burn the house down. It’s a strange one, from loving every aspect of a busy kitchen…the only place anxiety seemed to melt away…to never wanting to cook again. The very thought of picking up a knife or pan was gut wrenching and filled with fear.


Since then I have been able to cook. A breakfast of eggs & oats, the odd fish dish and stew. And now I’m even contemplating ‘just cooking’. Anything, everything. I want to make bread, pasta, pastry. Ooo sauces, dressings and flavoursome stocks. A parfait there, a lobster bisque here. Pickles and chutney. A delicate rose jelly and macerated fruits. An ice cream and a sorbet…….the list of what goes through my mind is endless!


To be back among fresh produce, tasting the fruits of another’s labour. The smells of fruit, herbs and vegetables, a welcoming entrance to the local grocer’s.


I hope this new view and mentality holds on long enough to stick. One day, a return to some form of a chef may still be achievable 😊

Failing to fail….

I’ve spoken before of the word ‘failure’ and the negative connotations that ruminate around it. I stand by my opinion that failing shouldn’t be deemed a saddening thing.


This is where I find my new challenge. My failure to let myself fail is hindering my progress. Well let’s be honest…it’s grinding it to a halt! Previously I have welcomed failure as a marker for improvement. Now, however, I can’t seem to take the lid off the pen and draw that bloody line! For weeks I have ignored the signs and pushed myself to breaking point. This need to succeed, to hit perfection is a blight on an otherwise successful journey.


With a recent re-visit to the mental health team, my medication will be reviewed, and a visit to the psychologist is just around the corner. I can’t put my finger on this feeling I have. Anxiety leaps from zero to a hundred at the blink of an eye. I feel something I have felt before but it’s under the surface and ever so slightly different. It is this worry, I think, that keeps me gently simmering, never knowing when I might boil over once again.


In Search of the perfect recovery I have inadvertently and ever so gradually made a U-turn. Now that I face the opposite way, directly in front of me lies the starting line. Though it may just be a dot on the horizon, it is signalling for my return.


Have I done this to myself? Or do I need a tweak in the pills department? Have I stopped talking and reverted back to bottling my emotions?


When so much positivity has led me to this point, I don’t want to be the reason it is all wasted and I certainly don’t want to carry on down this road. The steering wheel is under my control so surely I can spin it back around?…..can’t I?


Accepting failure helps level you out, it sets a point in time in which to improve. Whether that take a day, a week or a year, accept it as a positive. I can write this now, but I need to put it back into action for I fear the consequences. Embrace failure and strive for improvement…

Fitting it all in….

The general consensus is that eating well, frequenting the gym and general focus on oneself is time consuming and there aren’t enough hours in the day. Whether that be from those of us who go out to work, work from home, or even those who have zero work obligation. The thought that there is no time in which to grow as a person, focus on numero uno, is frightening to me. To have a ‘selfish’ few hours, even an hour isn’t a lot to ask in my opinion. Because in turn it will be a ‘selfless’ act! Being in a better mind space, a happier you will benefit those around you and your presence around them in this better state will, in turn, boost your drive to become better.
‘Better’ is a pit of vast variation. By better I don’t mean a superhero, an aesthetic god/goddess, or the reincarnation of Buddha! It’s not about looking better, but feeling better. Interacting better. Holding yourself better. And I repeat ‘FEELING’ better, a smile plastered on face no matter the task at hand. A lifted – even transcended – mind, body and soul!
Any who, I digress….
It’s about time management, ignoring unwritten rules, timetables and regimes. This isn’t to say your inner rebel has to break free and conquer. No no no. It’s about being aware of the time you have for ‘you’. An hour for lunch isn’t just an hour……an hour is as long as it is……60 minutes……3600 seconds. No matter how you take it apart an hour is an hour. But it’s a hell of a lot longer than your ‘lunch break’ thinking will let you believe.
A study I have been reading suggests breaking it down to 10 minute increments, manage smaller numbers. The idea is to plan each increment; eat for 10, get to the nearest gym in 10, workout for 20 (you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish), shower for 10 and get back to the grind in 10. A basic example.
Challenge yourself to make the most of every minute in a day. Make meals in advance or have a written idea of what you want to do/accomplish in a day. Personally I haven’t quite achieved perfection in this experiment but I am seeing positive results.
Overnight oats with an array of fruits was a revelation to me. I knew my breakfast was waiting for me, healthy, full of micro and macronutrients for the start of my day. I set myself an average 8 hour work day. Writing for 3 in the morning, grinding out whatever I could, whether I used it or not. A 15 minute break, I made a spiced tuna, avocado and asparagus wrap ready for my lunch. In this break, the fun wasn’t over however, I whacked YouTube on and watched something to make me chuckle and lift my spirits. Back to the keyboard, a further 2 hours of word spewing and eye squinting. Tuna wrap here I come! Polished off in a matter of minutes, I had 56 left of my hour. After taking the dog for a run, shattered and soggy, 37 minutes were remaining. Now it just so happens, this is where my productivity waned. A 10 minute shower turned to 20 and the remaining 17 were pissed away doing nothing. Granted in some cases this would be fine, a bit of chill time is great in fact. So maybe this was a success, maybe it was just what I needed before getting back to the grind.
For the remaining 3 hours, plus a few extra voluntary, I wrote some of the best work I’ve done to date, including a previous post and more than a few chapters of my ongoing novel. What I’m trying to get across is that no matter how little time you have or even too much time on your hands, look for the positives in doing zilch if that’s what you do, but utilise or see the benefit from every minute in a day whether filled or chilled. Appreciate that, again, it’s all a work in progress. Whether you wing it or plan, put the mental effort in to get the most out of your day. Highs and lows are inevitable but at the end of the day, an hour isn’t just an hour, it’s an HOUR !