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….

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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….

Amber temptress….

With gardening the cuttings, branches and debris are inevitable….now to the easiest method of disposal….

The fire is catching. A wild and free being, popping and flickering. Roaring and bellowing it’s calming symphony. Behind it’s beauty lies devastation, blackened destruction, a sweet smell of it’s job coming to fruition.

As embers, glowing branches disappear and ashes fall like snow, it’s happy and at peace. Oh what a simple yet terrifying beauty. Scarred surroundings, scorched leaves and grass left in it’s wake. Nothing but satisfaction, do the long gone flames feel. Their job is done, the odd spark holding back to finish what the amber temptress started.

As I sit here staring, hours have gone by. What felt like a lifetime flashed by in a minute. I’d much rather the branches flourish and grow to an untamed wilderness. Though I can’t help admire a flame, that free and unstoppable force. Success in it’s destruction….

From fruitful colour to baron beauty….

Autumn has truly kicked off, marking a time of preparation. The garden in need of taming, frost prevention and bird feeders filled with good fats, mealworms & tasty seeds. Ready for the birds to plump up before the inevitable snow and to keep them going throughout.

This time of year may mark the decline of greenery and blooming flowers, but the auburn shades are atmospheric and delightful. Subtle changes from oranges to browns tower overhead and crinkle underfoot, a simple sensory moment, perfect for painting a smile on your face. And cooler temperatures only make the heart warming food that little more delightful!

Enjoying every element of my surroundings of late, is helping me no end. Watching leaves fall, listening to birds chirp and that special something in the air, just might make this time of year my favourite.

Here’s to savouring the simple things. Seeing the beauty in the things we can’t control. Smiling at a colour, a sound, a smell. Wonderful simplicity….

Teetering on a knife edge….

Hiding away always seems the easiest option. Just when comfort sets in, an overwhelming bout of anxiety and mind mush sinks it’s teeth right in! It was a lovely day, until this point. But to hide is not my best option, even though it feels safe.

When your happiness & freedom from anxiety teeter on a knife edge, I sometimes wonder how anything can be enjoyable. Is it luck that these feelings simmer under the surface? Or am I fully aware of them, knowing in some way I should just make the most of the good times? It’s a quandary, a fleeting thought process that simply wastes my energy.

I do enjoy days, knowing it may just be that one through the week. But I don’t fester in fear of the bad. Once upon a time I wouldn’t have seen the wood for the trees. I wouldn’t have seen a point in enjoyment when misery lay around the corner. This is a triumph. Although I feel like a bag of turd, I see the glitter in which I could roll. The polish set aside, and a spark of positivity flickers.

Tomorrow is always a day away, always a possibility for happy, jolly times. Let’s take a bad day as just that, singular, just one. Tomorrow is just around the corner…

My novel….just a snippet….

I put this out there, with trepidation and an overwhelming feeling of ‘oh shit…what have I done?!’. It’s a snippet from months of writing. When I started this, it was the start of something special, a personal and enlightening experience…where my writing journey began…

…… As I walk through the debris of the street, leaves and litter, life rushes by around me. Bottles, plastic and paper bags, wrappers strewn across the pavement, parting like waves in my path. My destination is unknown to me at the moment, focused on each footstep. To look up would somehow spoil the mystery, the almost secrecy of where I’ll end up. It brings some amusement in an otherwise mundane life, a new street, same litter, unknown destination. The thought of what people must think when looking at this strange man, grinning whilst staring directly in front and down at the ground. Well…I couldn’t care less. Whatever creates an ounce of joy, I’ll hold on to it, no matter how odd.

The intrigue and enigma of this game I play is short lived as I reach a dead end, quite fitting is a dark, cluttered end. It mirrors my fall from grace, instant and in my face. As if to laugh in my face, never a happy ending. Turns out I recognise this area, as I reluctantly look up, I’m directly adjacent to my usual walk home. On joining the main street again, as ever I’m hiding in a trance, avoiding possible interaction, hands in pockets fiddling with keys and coins. Trying to hold on to the excitement of the accepted application to this experiment. Destination is home, or whatever you want to call it.

We’re about 24 hours from the start of S.D.A-1.0, I find myself tidying the shithole I call home. Ignoring the plaster falling from the walls as I place books back on their shelf. Dusting the coffee table even though it has a gaping crack down the middle and evidence of a serious lack of coasters. It came with this dive, along with the sofa, no doubt flea ridden, a murky brown colour, pretty sure it was a cream colour when it began it’s life. Obligatory broken springs trying to force their way through the misshapen and worn seat cushions. I straighten the single ornament I have, a little bird, a robin on a singular branch, delicate petals at the end. A reminder of a great man, my grandfather. Possibly the only thing I hold dear in this life. As I skew my head, pondering whether it looks better on the twisted mantle or perhaps in the middle of the coffee stained table, all seems quiet. Obviously the inevitable silence in the room as I stare at my robin. A quiet mind and a sobering thought of aloneness, yet not lonely. As if every fleeting thought, every unanswered question meant absolutely nothing. A feeling of being free, a quick glance around the dump to quickly realise all I’ll be taking with me is this, an ornament of a bird, a meaning, a sentiment. Knowing whenever this is over, the cracked coffee table, stained sofa, plaster laden floors with flaking craters in the walls will undoubtedly belong to somebody else. Somebody else will stand where I am, whether having the same sobering thoughts or surveying their new home with pride, they will without a doubt be skipping over the shit I now see, just as I did. Independence is one thing, surviving is another. If this is where an independent life begins, I have little hope for humanity, little expectation for a better world, and a sad feeling that others will feel like I do at this moment or worse, alone plus loneliness.

The light outside has faded as I continue to stand in front of the mantle. My gaze ever so slightly blurred, strained focus on the robin, brain feeling tired. I notice my stance has widened as I gently sway, involuntarily, almost a rockabye. As tired and exhausted as my body and mind feel, a saddening prospect of breaking this gaze is overwhelming, bringing a tear to my eye. Knowing that if I do manage to sleep at all, I will have broken this peaceful moment to inevitably fail at getting the rest I cry out for. A broken half an hour, nightmare ridden and exhausting in itself. It is almost pleasing to realise that this decision, attempt to sleep or not, will be taken out of my hands. A prisoner of an experiment, but a free man from the jail of my mind……..
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This was hard for me to put out there. But starting and continuing this novel, starting this blog and reading others has been a life changing experience!

How did your writing journey begin?

How has writing helped you?