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 😊😊

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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 😊

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 😊

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 😊

Nightly notion #10….

For a long time now, I’ve looked at progress as a linear motion. You’re either moving forward, standing still, or in reverse. It was a simplistic view in which I held great devotion. As I lie here tonight, as I have many nights before, I see peaks and troughs within this linear progression. So it no longer has it’s simplicity, it’s minimalist grace.

What I’m trying to get across is that, no matter which way I look at it now, I can’t see the beauty of progression unless it’s forward AND levelling out at a peak. Just moving forward isn’t enough anymore. Is this a bad thing? Yes and no.

I’m beginning to see a future beyond my limitations. A possible outcome to my constant need to improve. But it’s a balancing act. Even more so than previously. Yes I’ve come a hell of a long way, surely that just means I have further to fall? Further to regress and ultimately splat at the bottom of this pit in which I began my journey.

The future I see isn’t one of a previous life, past dreams before that dreadful time. More that of change and fulfilment. Because there has to be a point, as much as we like to deny it, where the peaks soften and that forward movement is all that remains. I want to be at this place. Relief and satisfaction at the position I’m in. The person I am. The journey I’ve taken.

I feel I’m once again, pinning my hopes on a somewhat uncontrollable outcome. How to balance this positive mind-set, with the inevitable troughs. How to accept that I am still scaling the side of this pit and as much as I see a possible future, I have to ensure I’m well enough throughout the process in order to even contemplate getting there.

I guess what I’m asking myself is, can I have too much positivity, too much drive and have the wheels fall off at the next turn? See a future where my mental health no longer intrudes on everyday life, want it so much that I forget to tie my shoe laces and trip, flat on my face?

As this jibber-jabber spills and muddles itself on to this page, I wonder if I’m just overthinking. It’s not as if I haven’t done that before…..

Whether I am or not is once again a question I have no idea how to answer. The bright side is however, it isn’t getting to me. It isn’t creating a cavernous hole in my head in which my brain wants to melt in to.

Maybe now this is written I can let it go. Stop thinking and move on to the next….

Daily drivel #8….

A rainy day started with a smile. The cascading droplets, playing a delightful tune on my window. Bursts of energy in the skies, wind thrashing at the pane, droplets turning to individual streams. Rivers of water from clouds of grey, sad in it’s colour, yet a happy patter of sound.

The sound of crunchy, fallen amber leaf turned to silken mulch. Bouncy steps, soggy shoes and refreshing showers. A sensory marvel, a swift change from previous days. Do I prefer this to sweltering heat? I think I do… With my newfound love of taking in my surroundings and simple focus on otherwise unnoticeable, uncontrollable feats. I can see the beauty in the ugly, I see the significance of the insignificant.

I’m starting to really understand how to effectively keep my mind at peace. The simple things keep an otherwise rampant and over processing mind free and at ease. Whether this can help during times of despair, I do not know. A simple raindrop. A footstep on drenched leaves. The smell of a rain soaked patio. It is simplistic bliss.

Watching the sun draw and dry the ground as quickly as it was soaked. Birds tweeting, as if relieved to see the sun again, fleeting movement from bird table to tree. In unison before the rain hits again. Blues, greens and yellows, a smudge in the air as they swoop and feast. Autumn may bring warming shades but our feathered friends never fail to add a dash of bright colour.

I feel I’ve rambled as I sit, wander and wonder. The ramblings of a man in awe of his surroundings and at peace within his noggin. It’s truly amazing…

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….