Exercise and depression…good and bad

It’s well documented that exercise can help with depression, producing endorphins that improve your mental health and for me personally my drop in good mental health coincided with an injury that stopped me going to the 30+ fitness sessions.

Despite my size I actually enjoy exercising and the 30+ group are wonderful. Banter, great group of blokes and very supportive coaches but the problems are that my body isnt as willing or able as the mind.

In this sense exercise is bad for my depression because I cant do it! And I’m desperate too.

I’m seeing a physiotherapist fortnightly to get to the root of 3 injuries, each one stopping me from doing what I want and need to do!

And its driving me fucking mad. Cant do boxing due to shoulder/neck problem, cant do running cos of knees and struggling to do too much cardio cos of my glutes!!

Back in the day I was a half decent footballer, before I became the shape of a ball, and I’m pretty sure without the knee injury and subsequent operation at 17 I would have made it as a professional. Therein lies the root of my frustration at my inability to do basic things like go for a jog without breaking down 200 yards later.

I want to exercise, I want to feel the euphoric buzz of pushing myself again. It makes my depression take a back seat and improves my mood, my self esteem and my faith in myself.

Are these injuries psychological? Dont get me wrong the pain feels real enough as my late night dash to A and E proved, but is it more a case of my head playing tricks on me?

All I know is that within the next 8 weeks I have to do a tough mudder and a 10k run and it’s going to kill me. I went for a jog (using the term loosely) and couldn’t walk for 2 fucking days. I WILL complete both events but at what cost?

It’s getting me down massively, I’m not working and my sleep pattern is shot to shit and I’m on a slippery slope and that’s why I need the exercise routine again for my own sanity. Obviously not being a fat bastard is a big incentive too but forgetting the physical aspects I need the mental health benefits more.

Its frustrating the hell out of me!!!

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Accountability and responsibility

Two key elements that have been disregarded since Christmas time. I pretty much downed tools and did the usual Moose thing in terms of self neglect, impulsiveness and recklessness. If I wanted to do something because the idea was in my head I would simply do it. For example one morning I woke up and decided to get my chest and back waxed, so I did. Never again lol and hats off to those of you who get other parts waxed! A new tattoo? Sure why not 4 hours later sitting in tattooists getting an awesome new but of ink, holiday for my birthday in November? Booked and nearly paid for within a few weeks.

Am I harming anyone? Hurting people with my actions? The answer is a resounding no.

It seems that it’s more about rebelling against the shit that’s happened over the years and living my life, my way.

So why self neglect? It’s about ignoring my mental health, and when I take my eyes off the prize I sink. This blog has made me hugely aware of triggers, signs and symptoms of the black dog taking hold and for 2 months I ignored it. I’m great at being there for my friends, and even strangers who contact me via this blog or the Facebook page and it gives me a huge amount of pleasure knowing people see me as someone they can reach out and be heard without judgement, and just be listened to.

It was one of the main reasons I started blogging and a huge part of why I returned.

Depression can make you feel like you’re the only person in the world with those thoughts and feelings and while it’s not seen as bad as bipolar, personality disorders etc it’s still something that affects so many people.

The point is that ultimately I am responsible for maintaining good mental health, it’s up to me to take my tablets regularly, it’s on me if I make impulsive decisions to sign up for tough mudders (what the fuck was I thinking!!???)

Accountability comes from taking responsibility for the things I have, or have not done. I need to get my arse back into exercising again, back on the healthy eating. If I want to look in the mirror and like what I see then that’s down to me to put the effort in and maintain the discipline required.

For the past 3 months I’ve been guilty of just doing the opposite of what made my mental health better.

I love my Saturday night drinks with karl, good music, dancing, women and cocktails and look forward to it. The difference now to say a month ago is I’m going there to enjoy myself and not to self medicate.

The tide is turning back my way again because I’m taking responsibility for it and full accountability.

Watch this space because I’m determined, injuries allowing, to get all that weight back off again and reach my goal weight by end of this year at the latest.

Exercise is very good for my mind even if it cripples my body. It’s the lesser of two evils. The injuries occur because my body cant handle the weight I’m carrying, yet prevents me from exercising properly to get it off. This means that diet is massively important.

The 30+ group will help, inspire, nag, motivate and drag me through the pain to reach my goals. Now I just need to get back on it…..

Going through changes

Since my last post ages ago life has turned upside down. I’m currently unemployed, without a car, suffering from numerous ailments and, as the title suggests, going through changes.

Things could be shitty right now couldn’t they? Every little thing that has gone against me lately could be multiplied in my head and become a reason for a massive spiral head first into my usual hedonistic devil may care lifestyle of promiscuity, stupid choices and all other manner of inane, impulsive decisions….

And yet…

I feel great!!

I feel like finally I’m free of destructive elements of the past, free from feeling paranoid that I’m being watched, judged and spoken about. Free to finally close a chapter of my life that barely entertains my thoughts now I’m out of harm’s way.

I feel excited about what’s around the corner, even if I have no idea what it will bring. I have 2 holidays this year to look forward to. Majorca and Tenerife, one on my own and one with Karl.

There is a new job on the horizon and while I’m waiting for that I’m recharging my batteries and improving my mental health daily by spending quality time with the special people in my life. Karl and Amy in particular are the best friends I’ve ever had, both of them are there no matter what and I’ve got very good new friends from my time at my local pub. I’m getting out there making friends, creating memories and no longer looking over my shoulder at ghosts from the past.

I must get back into the exercise routine I had before Christmas. The 30+ mens group made a huge difference to my mental health and shows how important exercise, banter and mates is to a happier stable moose.

I’m doing two events in May, a tough murder on the 4th and a 10k run on the 27th and if I can get back into training sooner rather than later it will make me feel more confident going into them.

With that in mind I’m raising money for Mind, which as you will know is a charity close to my heart, if you would like yo sponsor me please click

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GarryWilliams3

Half way towards my target and I’m very thankful to everyone who has donated this far. Believe me it helps me get over the finish line knowing people have sponsored me, makes me feel like they believe in me.

I need to use this outlet more, I keep saying it but writing is my thing, hopefully the talent is still there and the readers will return if there is more material available. I’d love to hit the 100k mark soon so the onus is on myself to keep writing.

Right now I should be sinking……

By the grace of God I’m not and I thank the special friendd in my life for that. Knowing I can pick up the phone and have numerous people available, supporting me, advising me, kicking my arse when needed and reminding me that despite how I view myself I am loved, valued and appreciated is an amazing feeling.

Here’s to the future, it’s looking bright again

Moose xx

Moose Talks – The Journey Begins

https://themoosetalks.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/the-journey-begins/

I have a dream job, to be able to create my own company and be a prominent person in the world of mental health, promoting good practice, helping people find support services etc.

As someone who has seen mental health affect myself, loved ones as a sufferer and as a partner of someone with mental health i feel I’m in a good position to offer support and advice for people.

The question is how to go about it? Where do I start, how do I begin and get the ball rolling?

If i had money behind me I would love to give this a try. Imagine the possibilities, finally making a living doing something I am passionate about and making a difference to the lives of others too.

I’m not looking to make millions, but to at least make a living and a difference and as more and more people are made aware of mental health, but less funding is available for services could there be some potential in this?

https://themoosetalks.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/the-journey-begins/

How Depression Makes Me Feel

I love writing, I love being someone who openly talks about suffering from depression and being seen as someone who helps others talk about mental health. Whilst I don’t use my blog as much as I need to I often post on my Facebook page and it generates plenty of discussion. I have people who always contribute on there and it inspires me to continue when at other times I feel like if I disappeared from view no one would notice, of course that’s bollocks but an example of the lies depression tells you.

Since the start of December I have been on a downward spiral, out of control at times and emotionally burnt out and its noticeable the changes in my personality caused by the black dog.

I’m naturally outgoing and gregarious and crave attention (there I said it!) I love being around people and bounce off of them. However at times I go from one extreme to the other, either quiet and sullen or more and more outrageous. In fact there are times when I’ve gone so far past over the line that I can no longer see it…..

It stems from low self esteem, wanting to be liked and loved….

I know that i have great people in my life who want me to be happy and who watch out for me and I’m lucky in this regard. I’m loyal to those people and will do anything for them.

When I am down like this I feel insignificant, almost like an irritant to people. I struggle with the concept of 400+ people liking my page, 600 people following this blog and being considered as inspirational to others, especially as I took such a long break from this part of my life.

I need to go back to my roots in terms of coping with depression and stripping myself down (photos available on request)….

I’m hurting, have been hurting for a long time and throwing myself into cocktails is not the answer. I’ve always been able to enjoy myself without the need of enough alcohol to stun a moose yet I’ve drunk more in the last 8 weeks than i have in the past 8 years. I can take or leave drink though, im not concerned by it although others have expressed their fears.

I’m big and ugly enough to acknowledge my mistakes and make amends to people I have wronged and apologise where necessary and yet there is one person I have never apologised to, one person Im nasty to and unforgiving to and thats myself.

So I need to be kind to me, to see myself how others see me. To not believe the things depression tells me I am And show people the real side of me, not just the front. Or at least give someone the opportunity to break down the walls without worrying about getting hurt….

And make this blog great again….

Return of the black dog

It’s been a week since I started this post. For a whole 7 days all I’ve had is the title, hundreds of words written , deleted and wrote again.

Christmas is an horrific time of year if you’re lonely. People sharing photos surrounded by loved ones enjoying the day do not help. Then back to work and endless questions about whether you enjoyed Christmas, had a nice one etc etc

Truth is most of my Christmas was spent in bed fighting tears and emotions. It was fucking awful. Thank God I was able to go and see a friend in the evening to get me out the house…

I’ve been on a spiral for a number of weeks, not helped by ghosts from the past. I don’t want any contact from particular people who still seem to think I care about the gaslighting and bullshit that comes hand in hand. Get on with your own fucking life stay out of mine! I’ve blocked you on social media, blocked your email address and phone numbers and there’s a reason for that. I’m not interested whatsoever in you or your life, and seeing as you obviously still read my blogs I hope you finally take notice. You can have your version of the truth and I will have the real truth and never the twain shall meet. History will no doubt repeat itself and as long as I’m no longer collateral damage I couldn’t care less. I’m starting this year with a blank page and erasing all the shit from last year and focusing on me, my friends, my family and doing what I want.

Today is the 1st day in weeks I have woken up and not felt like going straight back to sleep. I’ve woken up in a better place and actually feel ready to take on the world again.

This blog is a huge part of my life, I want to write frequently again and I will.

I’m not promising 2019 will be all positivity, sunshine and lollipops but it will be better for me…….

There will be more posts today. I feel creative, I feel inspired and I feel (whisper it quietly) happy

Goodbye 30s…thanks for nothing

Tonight is my last night in my 30s and I can’t wait to see the back of what can only be described as a cluster fuck of a decade.

It started so well, newly married, baby on the way but has ended up a fucking disaster…

My 30s have consisted of…

  • Failed marriage and divorce
  • Depression
  • A suicide attempt
  • An abusive relationship
  • Losing too many friends/family
  • Losing myself

However lets turn some of it around. Despite all the bad stuff I’ve survived, at one point it was touch and go. I nearly didn’t see 35 let alone 40.

At the moment I’m going through an awful period mentally. The black dog is barking and biting hard and its been a real struggle. A combination of still having a chest infection for months, over working and being haunted by memories have dragged me down to a low dark place.

I remember things too well, something innocuous can send me spirraling backwards or into a tailspin that can take weeks to recover from.

When one of your best friends uses the phrase “doing a Garry” and follows it up with “When things are going well and looking up you suddenly feel the need to self destruct” you start to question things.

Is that what I do?

I mean all I really want is to find that special someone, live a drama free life and be happy and loved but am I so damaged that I’m subconsciously self destructing as a coping mechanism? A way of preventing opportunities arising to protect myself from anymore hurt and pain?

It’s not just the theory of one but of a couple of people, people that know me the best.

I’m lucky to have friends like these who see through the front, the bravado, the cockiness etc and tell me what I don’t want to hear but NEED to hear.

I need to find a way out of this slump. I want to get my arse back to the training again, I’ve made one session this month for various reasons.

If I could choose a gift for my birthday it would be the gift of self discipline, I need to reach down deep yet again and find a way to channel things into a positive solution. I’ve slipped backed into old dangerous habits and I know only one person can pull me out of it.

Yet behind the flirtatious, cheeky, did he really just say that persona is a man who just wants to find his passion for life again.

At 40 I should know what i want but still have no fucking idea, career wise, life wise. At which point does it become too late? I don’t want to lose my faith in the happy ever after BUT… It’s ebbing away slowly.

So as I start my 40s I want them to be spectacular, eventful, happy, joyous and life changing. No more hurting, self destructing, letting memories haunt me.

They say life begins at 40…. I truly fucking hope so because I can’t take another decade like the last one.

Saying goodbye to the people I’ve loved over the years and closing the chapter on everything thats hurt me since I hit 30, especially the last 6 years is the start.

Here I come into my naughty forties…..tomorrow morning Im going to wake up, smile, be thankful and spend the precious few days I have off work getting my groove back.

Moosey turning 40

The 6 week challenge and why I love it

As my regular readers know I recently signed up to take part in a 6 week challenge. This was done on an impulse decision because I was unhappy with so many aspects of my appearance and lifestyle.

Without a doubt best decision I could have made….

The experience has been so rewarding both mentally and physically because I’ve had to push myself.

For the first time in my life I’m following a nutritional plan and eating 3 meals a day….but proper meals. Better foods.

When I started i was eating a bacon baguette for breakfast, a half pounder burger for lunch and as much shit as I could find in the evening after dinner…

I hadn’t done proper exercise on a regular basis for 5 years either.

I’ve loved it so much.

I had a mental wobble, it caused me to miss 10 days of the challenge and lost out on 3 sessions too but the trainer sent me an email to check up on me and that was all it took to remind me what I signed up for.

The group is fantastic. Lots of men encouraging each other, pulling you up when you’re flat out on your back from exhaustion and motivating you for that one more rep…

I feel like I’ve found somewhere I belong. The trainers push you out your comfort zone because ultimately they want you to succeed, they want you to better yourself and they actually treat you as a person not just a client.

The challenge has changed how I see myself, I’m certainly nowhere near as big as I thought I was in my head and I can look myself in the mirror and feel pride at the weight loss so far…. Without the wobble it would’ve been a whole lot better but that’s depression for you. I’m happy and looking forward to my final weigh in Sunday.

But its not the end there…..a new challenge begins on Monday as I have signed up to continue with 30+ mens fitness and continue this journey for a long time to come.

The buzz I get after each session does wonders for me mentally. I’ve made new friends and look forward to the pain of each session knowing its all for the greater good.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is “accountability” if i lose or gain weight, if i go to class or miss class then its no one else fault but mine. I will get out of this exactly what i put in and this journey has been life changing.

I’m hitting a new 30 day challenge hard next week. 30 days till I hit 40 and with the help of Russ, Chris, John and all the guys in this fantastic group im going to smash it even more.

Exercise is fantastic for depression and improving mental health. Find a group like this join up and I guarantee you that you won’t regret it.

I look so much better, feel so much better and loving Garry again.

One year on

Today marks a year since my world fell apart and I was hurt like never before. I could have broke down, I could have spiralled into a depression, I could have gone off the rails and I could have wasted 12 months feeling hurt, bitter, angry and sorry for myself…

Except I haven’t done any of those things…

I’ve just had the most productive 12 months of my life in terms of personal growth, development and re-educating myself on the great person I am.

I’ve rediscovered old friendships, rebuilt broken ones, made new ones and basically had a fucking ball as often as I wanted to.

Im living life my way, not being told how to do it, free from shackles, chains, gaslighting, abuse, lies and pretty much drama free and frankly the shit I went through needs to be thanked for making me the way I am today.

Do I get the odd bad days/weeks? Of course I do but the difference now is that I’m allowed to have them and ride them out in my own way.

I’m still doing this 6 week challenge and I’ve lost 14 lbs. Not as much as I’d like BUT, im happy with it as the 6 weeks comes to a close. I had to miss 3 sessions because of the black dog and took my eyes of the prize for a week or so. That’s my responsibilty…That’s on me.

This challenge has been amazing for me. It has given me a new direction, a new outlet, a new group of friends and today im loving life. I’ve even signed up to continue after the 6 weeks is over. Exercise classes 3 times a week minimum, healthier eating choices and a group of men who just encourage each other to keep going.

I will write more on the wonders of 30+ mens fitness in a seperate post over the weekend but suffice to say its been a great impulse decision…

And it’s rare my impulse decisions work out for the best…

I can look back on the last 12 months with a victorious smile

  • Holiday to Majorca
  • Reopening this blog
  • Working every shift with not one day sickness, no matter how black the clouds were
  • Losing a stone in weight…so far (More to come watch this space)
  • Finding Garry again
  • Learning to love myself again
  • Being a part of a great group of people
  • Remembering my blessings in life, friends, family etc

You tried to break me, you made me stronger, you made me become a better me again.

So for this reason I thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart because there’s one thing that will result from this last year and that is I will never again find myself feeling unloved, unwanted, unhappy again.

AND THATS HOW WINNING IS DONE!!!

And just like that….gone forever. No more bad memories, no more hating myself.

The 12 months is now all about the amazing memories I’ve made on my own terms and the future is looking fantastic.

And this time last year i couldn’t have dreamed being able to write something so positive now.

Don’t give up on yourself….

Week 2 completed and other musings

Another week down and its still going great. The body is responding and I’m improving my durability in terms of the physical aspects of exercising again.

Sticking to the eating plan is getting easier and despite nearly throwing up trying cabbage so far so good.

I’ve lost 10 lbs so far and I’m pleased with that yet i know there’s more to come from within and more limits to be pushed. For the first time ever im not over eating or binge eating. I’m excited to start week 3 and see more improvements.

I can see a difference already… can you?

Its not about just changing for 6 weeks though, this is about changing nearly 30 years of bad habits and with my new improved mindset im going to make this forever.

In terms of mindset and my mental health I can honestly state that this is the best i have felt in 15 years! Im liking myself again and what i have to offer. I’m not a victim to anything im a warrior and survivor.

I look at the man in the mirror and actually like who I see now. That’s a massive change. The years may not have been kind but the harsh reality is that I am 39 not 21.

The smile has returned, the eyes are sparkling with that little hint of naughtiness again and I feel amazing.

One more major hurdle to overcome and I’m back to the pre depressed Garry. To the person who i loved. Others not so much lol but them this moose is like marmite. You either love or hate. I care not either way and genuinely mean that. I’ve spent too long being a modified version of myself to please others.

I have no anger, no hatred, nothing negative in my head or my heart. I’m cleansed, born again and living the life i want with me as the actor, writer and director of the Garry show.

I may not be everyones cup of tea but im changing for no one. I’m a mental health campaigner, advocate, survivor of depression and fucking awesome guy.

Speaking of when I was 21 check out this photo….

Hair and one chin!! The good ole days 😂