Wading Through Treacle….

At the moment everything feels like a massive challenge.  Having to make major changes to your life is bloody difficult at the best of times however, when the changes are forced and not really of your doing, it makes it even tougher to come to terms with.

I have tried to keep myself calm and relaxed by keeping busy, but I find the constant barriers I face have a really negative effect on my mood and how I feel about myself and my capabilities.  The speed of progress is painfully slow and this dents my motivation to a point where I just want to sit in a dark room and watch TV.

“Sometimes, I feel like one who is on the sidelines, who has missed life itself.”

– Nelson Mandela

I feel as though the world is going on around me and I’m just stood watching.  I want to get off the sidelines and into the game, but there is so much to contend with.  My confidence is shot to pieces, I don’t even know if I can play the game anymore; I don’t even know what game I am meant to be playing.

The engine is seriously running out of fuel, and that’s where the treacle comes into it; just trying to do anything seems to take so much effort. Read more

Jekyll & Hyde -The Dangers of Suppressing the True You.

Every so often you come across a story that really resonates; recently this has been ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.

I have had the book for ages, and only decided to read it because it is on a school reading list for a friend’s son.  Like most people, I know the basics of the story and so I thought it might be relevant to my current situation.

Stevenson wrote Jekyll and Hyde at the end of 1885, and at the time it was viewed simply as a ‘horror story’, including by Stevenson himself.  The idea for the story came to him in a dream, and he described it as a ‘fine bogey tale’.  His wife did not like the first draft, she thought that the story had more potential, that it might have something significant to say about human nature, rather than being a mere horror story.  How right she was. Read more

Video Diary: Getting Off Sertraline – 26th June & 29th July.

As of yesterday, 5th August 2019, I am officially off the Sertraline!!!!

Wooohoooo!

The last month or so were quite difficult, with lots of ups and downs; the anxiety wasn’t too bad, it was the mood crashes which were the hardest to deal with.  One moment I could be quite happy and the next my mood could plummet in the blink of an eye.

It’s hard to say if reducing the Sertraline has had an effect because I felt pretty bad even when I was on a high dose.  The main contributing factor seems to be my environment and the experiences I have to confront.  Read more

ESA Benefit Appeal Upheld by Tribunal.

Many of you have probably seen stories in the news about people with mental health struggles battling to get benefits; some of you may be fighting the battle right now.

Like most things I don’t think you can fully understand a problem until you live it, and in a way that is why challenging a decision by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to stop my ESA benefits seemed something that I just had to do.

While I was successful with my appeal, the whole process highlighted some rather alarming issues; the main one for me was that the DWP seem to have no detailed knowledge of how mental health issues work, and that is scary because let’s remember, this is a government department that is tasked to try and help people! Read more

Wilbur Smith – Tips on Writing

I was hugely excited and proud to have a blog published on the Mind website this week; it was all about how writing helps my mental health.

Writing My Way Through Anxiety and Depression

Creative writing is great fun and I really enjoy letting my mind go wild, and that is what I did with my novel ‘Rotten Apples’ and it’s hero Jimmy, I just had fun with it.

I haven’t written creatively for a long time now and it is something I will go back too; I have drafts of Jimmy’s further adventures; tackling smugglers in Cornwall and coming face to face with blood diamond dealers in South Africa.  I have lots of other ideas for novels, but they will just have to wait for now.

Some of you may want to write creatively, and like me at the start, not really know how to go about it, so I thought I would share some tips from a master of adventure; best selling author Wilbur Smith. Read more