Wellness, Anxiety, Psychosis
(and a little bit of travel)
"remember spring swaps snow for leaves"
If there’s one thing I have learned it’s how to relax. I had serious anxiety from 2004 to 2013 so it was a case of necessity being the mother of invention. During that time my desire to shift the shitty stuff was strong, there was no way I was ready to accept that my life was going to stay that way. I’d get anxious about leaving the house and then I got over that. Then I’d get anxious about slightly busy places like restaurants. Then I got over that. Then it was the work environment, and I got over that. (Forgive me for sounding like a self-important prick.) Then it was classroom situations, meetings and waiting rooms and I got over that. Then it was travelling and I got over that. Then it was being the centre of attention, like at a recent violin concert, and I did that too.
Is it? Back to the basics – I’m not discussing social media and staring at phones because this has been done to death. I watch a lot of TV, well probably – about three hours a day. I guess some people sit on their arses for hours and hours but my excuse for my perceived inexcusable TV watching habits is that I have few friends and feel too self-conscious and vulnerable to go to pubs and clubs, because having had a long journey with panic attacks and anxiety I am a bit different to others.
Might as well take a break from the usual and wade into politics for today’s blog post. I consider myself a smart guy on occasions but to be honest my Brexit knowledge stops and dries up before it gets anywhere near something useful. But I have some opinions and I know on which side I stand. I would genuinely love to hear any comments from either side, please do enlighten me in the comments section.
I’m a remainer. I have family in continental Europe. I think Europe has some fantastic and beautiful places. I read recently that with the exception of China, Europe is the most economically, politically, and technologically advanced place in the world. Why separate from that?
I like trains, they relax me, but I’m no train spotter. It was pretty special however to visit a steam railway and sheds today in the heart of Hampshire. The Watercress Line in Ropley is run by volunteers and has about 20 miles of track with two working steam engines. It’s very different to see all that smoke and steam accompanying the trains as they pull up to the platform and of course the classic chugging sound with all the bells and whistles.
I can tell you straight off the bat that there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on a few things. Take me for example, I am happy to describe myself when I was unwell as crazy, it’s accurately descriptive. 2001 – 2010 I had cannabis induced psychosis with delusions of a grandiose nature, so crazy I was. Since about 2005 I would joke about it all, even when it was a serious situation and I was unhappy. I have my brothers to thank for initiating the humour aspect, it was them who continued to joke with me about things when I was unwell. Brothers have that sibling bond that involves joking around, and when they did, it showed that even though I had a mental illness, they still saw me as a person with a sense of humour.
When I first started working for the Basingstoke Sports Centre in April 2012 in the maintenance and cleaning department there were a few things about the job that I was to benefit from. I got to work in a thriving, friendly and healthy environment where there was always something interesting happening. The Basingstoke Sports Centre is a large place with seven floors of sports and fitness activities and there is something different to do each day, in various parts of the building. I have enjoyed interacting with staff, members and other customers while going about my work and I enjoy the dynamic - whether it’s talking to older customers as they have their coffee meet ups in the cafe, the toddlers having their first swimming lessons or the gym goers pumping iron whose motivation and dedication Is impressive.
A few weeks ago with much excitement I had a holiday to Giverny, France to see and photograph Monet’s house and gardens. Claude Monet is a big name in the art world and it was a real privilege to see and photograph the sights that inspired him to paint so many works. He actually created his gardens and lake/pond for the purpose of painting it. He diverted a nearby river to make the pond.
I was inspired by my blogger friend Aimee Wilson to interview a police officer for a blog post.
I’d sought a five minute chat about procedure when a person is taken into custody for temporary safe keeping because they have a mental disorder, and are putting themselves in danger.
What I got was nearly an hour of Peter’s time, in which he talked me through this issue and expanded on it over coffee in a friendly and helpful way.
Springtime Colours (not the blues) – with photography by Alli Ross
Once again I feel privileged to be able to write about positive mental health. I know lots of people are battling demons and I know I am lucky to be on a continuing journey of happiness and recovery.
Last week was Mother’s Day and I’m lucky with that too – I couldn’t wish for a more qualified mum if I’d picked one out myself. I got her a big bunch of flowers and we went to an ‘Open Garden’ event at Bere
Today is April the first, April Fool's Day. I am not planning on flying to China to meet anybody, I hate flying because of my vertigo, but perhaps I might if I was meeting with a book publisher (I'm almost finished on my mental health memoirs)!
This post is an April Fools joke for all of my Facebook and Twitter friends where I shared a link to this page.
Happy April Fool's day everybody, have a fantastic week.