Nightly notion #11….

Tonight is one of those nights. One with tired eyes but a busy brain. Until I stop and think…or not think…thoughts are a mile a minute. Fleeting and forgotten. Imagine fanning through the pages of a dictionary, A-Z quick as a flash. What do you see? What do you remember seeing?

Rain on the window is soothing, a temporary break from my dictionary conundrum. Snoring dog with active dreams, a chuckle to lighten the mood. Tis all good I tell myself, Aardvark and Zephyr….who cares what else supersonics it’s way through. Forgettable thoughts and notions are probably not worth the bother.

So how to shut it down, where is this off switch? If I count sheep I’d no doubt have to give them all names. Lambchop and Doris would be mum and dad. Grandpa Gravy and granny…..How’s about reading, replace incoherent with coherent, meaningful words on a page?

You know just writing is sometimes enough to adjust the dimmer on the off switch. I’m still smiling and I can’t wait for the day tomorrow. A break from doing too much is still on the cards, let’s make it to the psychiatrist next week and go from there.

Goodnight all and pleasant dreams 😊

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Time to reflect….

As time runs away, days roll on by and the regular thought process, that of negativity, would poke it’s googly eyes from under it’s rock. What are you doing with your life!?! That incessant analysis of what is simply a day gone by would play over and over.

Well these last few days, well since I last posted, I’ve had a bit of time to reflect. A positive summary of a journey that is far from over, it’s barely even begun. And that’s the achievement from my time away from the pen, paper and computer screen. An honest look and appreciation of this incredible trip, from the depths of despair, to where I stand now, and beyond.

Yes I’m back in touch with the mental health team because I’m struggling. I see this as a positive, however. A positive which will, in turn, cancel out the negative feeling. I’ve been finding everyday things difficult. I’ve mentioned before of how too many voices within a conversation blur my lines of understanding and my head begins to liquidise. Too much going on around me or noise from various sources. It’s all too much but something I feel I have to conquer in order to fully recover and progress in life.

So my meeting with the psychiatrist is next week and I’m feeling good about it. Do I feel I’m stepping in the wrong direction? No! Once upon a time I would’ve said yes, for sure this is a backwards step. That in itself shows me how far I’ve come and how progression comes in all forms. A positive step back in order to leap forward.

If I can keep this mind-set and use it until it’s bruised and battered, continue and set it in stone. I will be a happy chap. I guess only time and perseverance will tell.

Take a step back, admire your achievements and take an almighty leap on your way to achieving more!

Smile, always 😊

Tranquil….yet deafening….

There are moments throughout the day, perhaps a week, where the peace of an empty garden is lost amongst a hoard of noise trapped in my acoustic mind, orchestral without an ounce of class. Just being, just enjoying is impossible. A sad and lonely time where time itself seems to stand still.

If the symphony in question was just that, a symphony, then perhaps I would be content in letting it pass by. It is me, myself and I contorting every unnecessary thought and question in to a bloody mess. It’s no mean feat to take a Beethoven sonata, quash it and turn it in to a mechanical cluster fuck of unnecessary bullshit! Franz Schubert into screaming cats or a Johann Sebastian Bach to a whirring cement mixer filled with broken glass and unsuspecting lemmings! Silence is the masterpiece I wish I could hold on to, or at least find at times like this.

I put my socks on the other morning, right then left. Nothing strange in that is there? No, of course not. Then the question pops in to my ever welcoming head…would I somehow be unhappy if I did it the other way? Would it spark a torch of good feeling and somehow make this day the best ever? Whilst mulling this over, I contemplate taking them back off, for test purposes obviously. In the time it takes me to muddle over this pig swill, my pug had got himself back to bed and was snoring the house down!

This is a minor example of the ridiculous lengths my brain goes to, so it’s owner, me, feels as though there aren’t enough pills or doctors in the world.

When in conversation, usually a response to something, a question, a statement, just general chit chat, is off the cuff and spontaneous to a degree. I find myself analysing, not only the words I’m hearing but the words in which I plan to release into the world. More often than not, spontaneity rules after all as I decide anything else is just garbage.

Talking one on one is okay, not so much with new people, but when a third voice jumps in to the mix….no chance. At first I’m grasping the conversation by the short and curlies! Then, gone, I cannot catch up and my contribution is done. I sit vacant, with a touch of bewilderment and ‘please help me!’. Conscious of the goings on around me, the people, the sounds, even where exits are. A buzz of surrounding noise turns to a blender filled with bricks. A colossal wall of noise, frightening and unstoppable!

I write this now, on a good day. One of the above days behind me, swearing at me in the rear view. Knowing in itself that it will soon hop into an F1 car and catch up to my rickety banger! That doesn’t mean to say I’m dwelling or waiting for the bad times. It’s just nice to get it out….

World Mental Health Day….

Today isn’t just a day, it’s a signal of how far mental health awareness has come. Although people across the world suffer on a daily basis, a singular day could give a boost of positivity. Maybe just enough to save a person from that slippery cliff edge.

It saddens me to think, that there was a time when people’s mental health wasn’t just a difficult conversation to start, it was barely spoken about at all. The stigma which still hangs, the negative connotations still associated with mental illness, were things to be afraid of and either ignored or treated with extremes. Now with the fear, comes reasoning and so much more understanding. The stigmas of ‘crazy people’ or ‘what might they do’ still float around, but with an ever growing understanding and patience, hope is always at an arm’s length if needed.

On a personal level, I am proud to tell my story. Where I’ve been and how far I have come. Even how far I still have to go. Just because of a chemical imbalance or a point in life that still, to this day has an effect, it doesn’t make you an outcast. Far from it. It makes you human, a confusing mass of life that is always growing. Always a work in progress. And always perfect even in it’s imperfections.

Suffering in silence is a thing of the past. Fear of extremes and ridicule, ostracism and ignorance need no longer be a thought process. The daunting prospect of being labelled, diagnosing the ‘problem’, or simply an unannounced U-turn in an otherwise ‘normal’ life, will be understood and appreciated by the majority and the others don’t matter.

So today and everyday, I will take my medication with pride. Travel my ups and downs with the knowledge I am doing my very best. And smile, always at the journey I’ve conquered and continue on conquering.

Today was a celebratory day, as every day should be! Today shows a growing appreciation of illnesses that can’t be seen, scars beneath the surface, and turmoil in one’s noggin. Share your stories, keep understanding and smile. Smile for yourself and those who may not be able to right now….

A beaming light….

Weeks of torment behind me once again. It comes to a point, when I start to wonder what it’s all about? As if it is just the norm, to have good times followed by bad, only to start the cycle over again. When does it all become a tedious process, never to be broken?

A beaming light shining midweek, signalled the end of the downward, sleepless spiral. Granted, sleep isn’t all tikitiboo, but sleep has been had. The shining light, iridescent, marred by cloud, is a thing of beauty yet I’m fearful of what will trigger the next spiral. I feel I’m just playing a waiting game…

I guess I need to enjoy, make the most of, and seize the day at hand. Focus should be on how to exploit these good times and continue the growth I was getting on so well with before the bad times stuck their nose in. As if a blip, or singular scratch on a CD, continuing on with the song and finish what has been started.

So that is what I intend to do. Look at how far I’ve come. A crumpled lump, a mental and physical mess on my brother’s sofa, to where I am now. A gym going, lifestyle changing conqueror. The ‘me’ I almost enjoy looking at in the mirror, the ‘me’ that loves to cook, garden and progress day by day.

Don’t let the down days, or fear of what may happen next, slow you down. Take each day as it comes. Blips happen, shit happens and the fight is what will make you stronger. Enjoy today, tomorrow is a day away and always will be!

Smile, always.

Evening routine….the search for uninterrupted sleep….

I’ve mentioned in a previous post of my constant and incredibly brain creasing, broken sleep. My aim was to research and attempt to fix this annoyance. But research was a difficult one. So trial and hella error has never been more abused! Well maybe a tad dramatic…

My first trial was an early evening walk, without a major increase in heart rate. I was aiming to burn any physical energy I may have had hiding within limbs. This was a topic of conversation previously also, the incessant need to move my limbs, legs especially. ‘Orrible ‘orrible ‘orrible! I hate this feeling!

So with this not having any affect, the drawing board was once again handy for my scribble. And scribble I did! Jeeeez I haven’t written by hand for so long, it was like a spider with painted feet, drunkenly sprawled it’s way across the paper…..it was illegible.

Pushing on, my next idea was to try the old faithful, yet not to my taste, hot chocolate & a bubbly tub. To my surprise, it worked as far as the need to move lessened….is this a word?….my still broken and evasive sleep was less fidgety….is this a word?….

Whether the bath helped or the cocoa, or even both, I’m not entirely sure. Implementing two new variables made it unclear. So far I’d been working on instant fixes. Ones that I hoped would change the very night at hand. I needed a new tactic!

So with a new approach I decided to work on a routine that eventually my body and mind would see as the warm up before sleep. Every night, at 9pm I would start this routine….

Medication – I’ve found that taking my tablets earlier helps with the relaxing I’m trying so hard to achieve. Then it’s to the bathroom sink – brushing teeth, an evening face scrub and the occasional face mask (I fricken love these things, soooo satisfying!). After the sink routine I would put on a robe and chill with an episode of something thought provoking but not too stimulating…

11pm was time for bed. No matter if I was wide awake, I needed to let my mind and body know this was sleep time!

After just over a week of trials and finally this simple routine, I’ve seen quite astonishing results. At first I would lie in bed staring at the ceiling for hours and sleep, once achieved, would be broken. Eventually however, I was falling asleep fairly soon after getting in bed and gradually my sleep is becoming less turbulent and I’m pretty sure I’m close to getting a full night in the coming days.

There are things in life we can’t control and things we can. Focus on the things you can. Chip away at the annoyances and take control of the little things.

Keep smiling 😊
Love Smiley

Jibber-jabber at dawn #5….

With a semi successful sleep behind me, I stir from my slumber with a minor headache but a smile on my face. Today shall be a productive one.

The garden still with plenty to do, is always a task to look forward to. Shrubs need trimming, borders need tidying and a dismantled shed needs breaking down into usable and unusable. I’ve lost a little momentum with the garden but I’m hoping to build a swing seat out of the decent wood from the shed. I can see it now – birds tweeting, bees and butterflies aplenty, pots and trellises in bloom, and a swing chair to enjoy it all. T’will be amazing…

Today is also a gym day. Forty minutes on the bike has become something I look forward to, a necessary evil turned unexpected joy. And it’s leg day, my favourite! Some may ponder whether I’m being sarcastic here, but as with cardio, I’m loving leg day!

A new found vigour courses through me of late, a want to get things done! I’m giving more 100% at the gym and I’m hoping I can find the same intensity for my gardening again! Building this chair and seeing the success of tidy borders and shrubs will no doubt spur me on no end.

Never giving up and always searching for little victories and enjoyment in life is something I firmly believe everyone should work towards. Yes, you may lose a little momentum or even have completely shite days but there is always something to look forward to. Whether that be a major life change or a minor victory, find what makes you happy and hold on to it….