Moan, Moan, Moan

I have lots of things to moan about but for today I am keeping things locked away. If I write about how depressing life is today it is going to drag me down into the abyss and instead I am going to find some positives to talk about.

The poetry book is almost done, well it is done but I am not going to publish until Saturday in case anyone wants to submit, although the last day I will accept submissions is 30th August. I am really excited about this project because I had the idea, raised awareness and as of today 40 people have sent me a total of 72 poems!

Hopefully it will sell a few copies to raise some money for Mind as well but even still I am following through (not in the IBS way!) with ideas and making things happen.

Naturally I have added the link to my other book in the back of the poetry book, it may well bring me some extra sales and if so then wohooooo!

I am majorly stressed over this Atos medical assessment but trying hard to block it out until nearly the time, hard as it is. Keeping myself busy with writing will help. Trying not to “sweat the small stuff” as my friend Kay would say because at the end of the day it is only going to make me worse.

So an “update” of sorts for y’all I am battling and staying afloat albeit just about but it’s better than being under the water!

There is only half a smile plastered on my face, the other half is a genuine smile which is half more than normal LOL

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One Little Moose but One Big Voice

I am just one person speaking out about depression, hardly enough to cause even a ripple in the sea of people who suffer with this illness. Note the word illness not condition, not state of mind. Depression is an illness!

Some illnesses evoke sympathy in other people, some make people afraid.

“Man flu” is more commonly recognised and understood in some peoples mindset than depression.

Man in street sneezes “oh no, I have man flu”

The same man has displayed depression symptoms for months and done nothing about it, ” I’m not depressed, that means I am weak and I do not need any help”

That man is me! or more appropriately WAS me.

Then I changed my mindset, looked a things differently and decided that I could make a difference. Not just in my life, but in the lives of other men, or women, suffering from depression but either unaware of the symptoms or simply afraid of the repercussions that being known as someone having depression can bring.

Repercussions may seem a strong word but there is truth in it. Having depression and being open about it can cause more drama for people. The way others deal with you and treat you can be changed because of the stigmas of Mental Health Illnesses, not just depression. This is why some people keep depression hidden away like it is a dirty secret, why people are scared to ask for help and why in some cases people take their own lives.

What I did was walked into a phone box, checking beforehand that it was not damaged, and no one had urinated in it as is usually the case and I changed into..

 

Well yes maybe it is a slight exaggeration. Super Moose maybe goes to far but have you even seen a comic based on “slightly better than average” Man?

If I can speak up and help one person in their battle with depression then I can be extremely proud. If than one person then helps someone, and so on and so on imagine the wave we have created.

That is the aim of my blog, besides the help it gives me, and the hope is one day someone who needed help sought it after reading my words.

Today my tiny little corner of the blogging world hit 10,000 readers. Ten thousand! I didn’t expect ten would read it.

Now if those 10,000 readers wouldn’t mind buying my book I would be a happy chappy 🙂

I like to celebrate the little milestones as they come because they show me that there is a place for me as a blogger, and when I forget these little events on my bad days I can come back here and know that people like you inspire me to keep going and helping others.

To the people who have sent me messages of support, messages thanking me for my blog your kindness and bravery in reaching out to me keep me going.

I may be a little moose but my voice is big because I am speaking on behalf of those not yet ready, or unable, to speak for themselves.

That is my motivation, that is the reason for my dedication to the blog and book ideas. Spreading the word a day at a time that depression will not go away simply by pretending it does not exist.

The Week that Was

The last week was an interesting week wasn’t it?

A week filled with highs, lows, emotional drama, shameless book plugging (which has not worked btw), appointments, phone calls and anything else you could think of has probably happened to me!

And yet despite all this HERE I AM!

That’s right I have suffered and survived this week from hell, I am still sitting on the chair at my PC desk and typing away merrily.

Sometimes you have to just accept that life will not make it easy for you, roll with the punches and make sure that when the dust settles you are the one still standing at the end of the contest.

Bruised and battered maybe but surviving nonetheless.

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

You know who said that?

Makes some sense though doesn’t it?

I got hit with some low blows and kept getting back up and that is how to deal with depression.

It is fine to be a little scared, that is human nature

“You know, I think you try harder when you’re scared… That’s when it’s worked best for me. “

The important thing is that you keep fighting back, don’t give in to the fear and the darkness

“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life. “

Who would have thought that Rocky Balboa could be so inspirational!

And above everything else, be very grateful I have the Rocky DVD box set and not Stop! Or my mom will shoot on DVD!

 

 

Protection from Above

I was not going to share this incident but thinking over it some more have decided it is interesting enough to get peoples attention.

If you haven’t read about my “infamous” window story then check out the point of no return post before going any further.

Ok so you have met the window now yes?

Good then I shall continue.

Last night I was in a bad way, and to be perfect honest I was struggling.

The incident that happened last night, the handle of THAT window broke last night and it wont open!

I am not in a suicidal state of mind before anyone starts panicking

But does anyone else see the irony of that window being broken on the night that I was asking for prayers and protection?

You all know how strongly I believe in my guardian angels looking out of me, plus my new found relationship with religion, this only strengthens that belief.

The Call I was Dreading has Arrived

The week from hell has now been made complete. The call I was dreading finally came today.

“This is ATOS we are calling to arrange your medical”

Just that one opening sentence and my stomach was in pieces, my good feelings evaporating before my eyes. I am about to be screwed in 3 weeks.

Three weeks! I have to wait until the 14th September before my appointment, this means I am going to be an absolute wreck between now and then.

For those outside of the UK here is how Atos work.

If you are on sickness benefits you have to attend a medical to continue claiming your benefits. Atos find ANY reason to decide you are fit for work and not entitled to benefits. They take no account of your mental state of mind, have no system in place for those of us with Mental Health Illnesses. All they care about is your physical being. People who have disabilities are being forced to find work because Atos decide that if you can use a finger to type on a keyboard you are fit enough to work.

There has been so much negative press about the medical system, Doctors are against it, the press are against it, unfortunately the Labour government introduced it when they were in power and its here to stay. Of course now Labour are out of office they are now against it – they think were are stupid that we don’t remember who introduced it in the first place. Still its much easier to blame the current government isn’t it!

I am sure people have had good experiences with their medicals and had no problems, BUT do a search on google for ATOS and you will find 100s of examples of people who have been screwed. I personally do not know anyone who has anything positive to say about Atos and the medical assessment!

Meanwhile you lose benefits, which means having no income at all, your housing benefit will be stopped which means I will fall behind on my rent and eventually start getting eviction notices. I can of course appeal if I am told that my benefits will be stopped but that will just add more stress and drama to my life. More than I can handle believe me.

Who has experience of Atos and is willing to come with me on 14th September?

 

Then there was you….

As he sat alone, frightened, anxious and worried a figure appeared from behind him, another in front of him, from the left came someone, and then from the right. Suddenly he was surrounded by people who had rallied to his aid.

And what a wonderful, moving experience it was. Lifting him away in a virtual hug of love and support.

Understanding where he was coming from and showing him it was going to be OK because there were a group of people who were there for him, even if he could not always see it.

When he was awake he was emotional, not because of his depression but because there was you, you were there supporting him and he never expected it but is eternally grateful.

 

Thank you all so much.

WTF!!!!

Something has happened tonight but I don’t have an idea what it is.

I feel like one of two things is going to happen.

1. I am going to break down and cry

2. I am going to explode

I feel beaten tonight, earlier I was feeling great.

I don’t think I can cope anymore if the moods are going to change so rapidly.

Today I have been anxious, stressed, happy, emotional and angry its all too much for me.

It is making no sense as to why the sudden changes it is the first time I have been through so many different moods in one day.

I got to admit i don’t like it – I had things planned for tonight wanted to write some more of my book, finish editing the poetry book and I am in the mood for doing nothing but wallow in self pity!

I feel like I have nothing left to offer. All the messages of support this week, the encouragement I have received has been pushed out and replaced with the negativity again.

And it makes me so effing frustrated and mad with myself!

I thought I was getting a handle on depression, was feeling like I was controlling it for once rather than it controlling me. It has turned round and bit my right between the legs and is shaking me around like a rag doll.

Tonight is the night I need help but is also the night that I wont accept it.

Tonight is the night I need Jesus to send me some angels and help me through.

Those of you who prayer please say one for me tonight, it is not often I ask for this but there is something seriously wrong tonight.

Here is hoping for a brighter tomorrow!

 

How was your day?

I went for some retail therapy after my appointment today, not going to talk about the appointment as it was a complete waste of time and effort let alone the stress is caused me this week!

Anyway I was about to go into a shop when this man started talking to me, he recognised me from some of the photos on my blog! He was telling about how the blog inspired him, he read it every morning and night and really appreciated that i spoke about depression so openly.

Amazing huh!

After 20 minutes security came out of the shop and asked me to move on, apparently the staff were getting complaints about some mad man talking to his reflection in the shop window.

Laughter is a good way to tackle mental health illnesses even more so if you can laugh at yourself!

Anything happen in your day to make you laugh and cheer you up?

Depression is one issue, IBS is something completely different

The fictional words of Yoda ring in my eye “shit yourself you will”

Another appointment with the good people at Seetec today, an appointment that takes me over an hour to get there, involving sitting on 2 buses at least. Usually though I don’t bother getting the second bus that takes me there and walk about 2 miles instead.

There are two reasons for this

1. It saves me precious money on bus fare

2. I can guarantee I will need to use the public toilets that are only 5 minutes away from where the first bus takes me.

I hate using public toilets though, having to sit on a dirty seat, never enough toilet paper or toilet paper that is either like a wire brush or tracing paper!

The alternative is much worse though, and having struggled with IBS on days like today especially, I can personally verify that dirty public toilets is far more comfortable than an accident.

Accidents I can handle in the comfort of home, when I am at an appointment its entirely different.

The worst part of it all is that I know I am worrying for nothing. Despite the horrible person I dealt with last time who made me feel like rubbish the people at Seetec are actually pretty nice. I am seeing the ESA specialist today, we spoke on the phone a few weeks ago and he seemed really nice. He did a good job of putting me at ease, but still today is one I have been dreading all week, and anxious moose equals cant leave the flat because of IBS.

So think of me today, unable to eat anything all day until I get home about 5pm, wondering the streets with a spare set of underwear in a bag just in case.

Depression I can deal with, I know how to cope with the bad days, the bad feelings can change back to good in a matter of hours.

IBS is much harder to control. Stressing me out, making me so conscious of the fact that I am like a gun waiting to go off.

Still 3 hours until I have to leave, I have only been awake less than an hour and already spent more time on the toilet than sitting at my PC.

Wish me luck, I am going to need it!

 

Getting Heard

Today my open letter to depression was featured on the Mind website as part of their blog http://www.mind.org.uk/blog/7248_my_letter_to_depression

The response has been wonderful, full of support and to be honest better than I ever anticipated.

It is great when something you have written speaks to so many people, or inspires them to do something.

When you feel low yourself but know that you are helping others is a great feeling. I am so incredibly proud of myself today.

Hopefully people will check out my book now as well… at smashwords you can preview the first 20% of the book before you decide to buy it https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/213574 is the link for those who asked. Have a read of it you will not regret it. You will also be contributing the new tattoo I want if you buy it 🙂

And the poetry book is getting more submissions by the day I cannot wait until this gets finished and published!

Today I can look forward to what is about to happen with a sense of achievement rather than the usual doom.

My romance book has 10000 words written and the feedback from that has been remarkable.

Todays scoreboard reads Depression 0 Garry 1