New Beginnings

Ive removed all posts from the last few months. All traces of anything negative are gone for good. Its time for new beginnings, fresh perspective and changes.

I have no more to say on whats happened its been put in the history books and will not be mentioned here or in the real world again.

I’m looking forwards and starting from tomorrow I am going to attempt to finally give up smoking after over 20 years. I hate the smell, the taste and the cost of the nasty habit and I hate sounding wheezy all the time.

If anyone sees me with a cigarette slap it out my hands quick you have my permission.

Once I have got that under control I want to start getting into shape and lose weight. I need to get my physical health back as a priority because Im turning 40 this year and would like to be at least 3 stone lighter by the time my birthday comes around in November.

Changes for the better are coming and its down to me now to implement them.

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Remembering Who I Was

Making this blog active again and reopening my facebook page has been a real eye opener for me. For the first time in a very long time I actually feel like I belong somewhere again. I feel a great deal of pride in what this blog accomplished many years ago and as a stat whore my numbers astonish me that a humble little blog could have such a big number of views, visits and followers considering the subject matter. Writing about mental health has been a challenge at times when I could barely function yet its been a life saver and changer for me at times. Check out the photo below this little site is nearing ninety three thousand views!! 93,000 imagine that!

Having this site available to the world again gives an insight into my journey from depression heartbreak suicide attempts and recovery and back into heartbreak again. The majority of the posts here where written when I was suffering from depression and then once I felt that life had finally brought happiness again I walked away from a world where I was well known, respected and someone who was available for others at their lowest points. In 2013 I was on the end of the phone to 7 people as they were at the point of ending things and I talked them around – more than anything this is something Im extremely proud of. I made a difference to people.

I’ve spoken about mental health from my experiences and many other personal aspects of my life and the feeling of goodwill I have received has really boosted my self esteem in the last few days. I forgot I was good at writing, I forgot I could be interesting to other people.

I need to look after my own health both physical and mental. As far as depression goes right now I would be honest enough to admit I’m struggling. I’ve been a lot worse and I have no real fears mentally.

I feel happier than I have in a while. I’m busy reconnecting with old friends healing wounds building bridges and finally remembering that in actual fact I’m not that bad. I’m flawed in many ways but I’m a good person if allowed to be me. maybe that was part of the problem, I was too busy being stifled to be the man who helped countless others..

so today I can go to sleep feeling proud of myself once more and feeling like I have finally found my place again

 

Feeling Alive

Waking up each day with a smile on my face

reaching for the phone, eyes still barely open to send a quick “good morning” message

laughing at some of the absurd things said the night before

butterflies when a message comes through

hours spent each day talking, laughing and making future plans

that feeling of excitement as it nears the day we see each other again

the anticipation of more quality time knowing it gets better every time we see each other

living my life again, making memories

this is how I envisaged things being one day… feels like that day has finally returned

I am happy and I am blessed to feel this way again

it has made all the struggling, fighting and tears worth while to feel like this

I love feeling alive…

It’s My Birthday… Two Today!

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of this blog. The Depressed Moose is 2 years old… I am almost in big boy pants and can officially stop shitting myself in nappies and use the toilet….doesn’t mean I am going to quite yet..baby steps and all that 😀

As with any 2-year-old I am like a sponge absorbing lots of information and being excited at every new thing I learn and discover, and still grinning like a baby with trapped wind most of the time too. It is exactly how I fell these days though even if it makes no sense at first with the baby analogies.

My mental health has never been better than this moment in time, even during my rocky moments I feel more like I am going through the “normal” range of human emotions than depression taking hold of me again and this is a great weight of my shoulders. I can laugh, cry, sulk (and apparently I do a really good sulking pout!> in the normal way without worry about mania, depression or anything else being a cause.

Unless this heat continues because it is a sure-fire way to bring back my depression if I am not careful. My flat is like a greenhouse at the moment which makes it hard for me to sleep at night, and lack of sleep equals grumpy, moody hide from the world Garry so I am working hard on trying to combat this – prevention is always better than cure after all.

New beginnings always help and I am lucky that things have progressed with the wonderful lady in my life to the point where we are now starting a relationship and moving forwards together. Katie AKA Miss Donut has been a breath of fresh air in my life since we met. It can be hard work at times, I am not renowned for my patience which doesn’t help, but hard work brings the best rewards and she is great company, great fun and a brilliant new addition to my life. It is nice feeling butterflies and acting like a love-sick teenager again and being able to fight for someone you want in your life is a sure sign that I am recovering nicely from depression, as it having someone fight to be with you as well. In the past I would have walked away from anything that was not easy…..not this time, we are overcoming hurdles together and both happy with how things are going. I have not been this happy for as long as I can remember and I aim to ensure it stays this way. She makes me very happy and I am lucky to have her!

Planning for the future is not something I have done for years, but I am now and trying to create lots of new memories with the wonderful Katie, having stored plenty already since our first conversation. It would also be nice if I could remember to engage the brain and the mouth before I spoke but that has been an issue for 35 years, luckily I am cute with it, even if I do say so myself.

So raise a glass to cupid, to new love, to new beginnings, to friends who I would never have met without this little blog and to the next year(and hopefully more writing!)

 

 

 

Return of The Jack, Garry’s Back!

Apologies for the lack of visibility on the blog since my last post, rest assured you have missed nothing! I have not even felt able to write anything coherent enough to consider publishing – believe it or not I do have some standards when it comes to hitting the publish button…..

Another month has been and gone and we are now into June. What a month May was for me though, in simple terms the best month I have had for at least the last 10 years perhaps even longer.

One of my targets/goals for 2014 was to create new memories, to make the most of life again and to cherish those friends and family around me that support me so much when times are difficult.

For those wondering who Jack is – he is an old friend of mine who I am happily on better terms with these days. Good Ol’ Jack Daniels…. drinking with great company to enjoy not drinking to forget as I have done in the past.

I am very lucky to have met someone who I spent a big chunk of the past few weeks with, a wonderful, beautiful lady who has put a smile on my face and we have had a great time laughing and sitting up till the early hours just talking nonsense but enjoying each others company and I couldn’t be happier! Lots of drink, lots of smiles, lots of talking and best of all…. no moose to be seen! Its all about Garry which I love! When someone makes so much effort to be around you, then you know you have found someone special.

I feel a sense of responsibility when it comes to anything moose related. It’s nice to be thought highly about because of the real me not the moose.

So to Miss Donut… thank you for being around and here’s to a lot more great times!

That’s not to say I don’t have down days still, or feelings of insecurity but I can count them on one hand over the last few months! I am so much more in control of my depression these days I feel like a kid again. It feels like I have just started to remember Garry properly and I love how it feels.

Days out, nights out, lazy days in pjs till mid afternoon and more memories created in May than in the last few years combined! This is what life is about and I am determined to ensure it carries on this way, regardless of what happens along the way.

Now as June arrives I have to deal with some personal shit from the last year that can finally be consigned to the history books as I move on with my life, I have injections and mri scans to look forward to and then hopefully I can hit the gym again on a regular basis and shed the “winter coat”  that is weighing me down.

It’s not fat honestly its just an extra layer of awesomeness…

fluffy

 

and if all else fails….stick me in front of an ice cream van and I’m a happy chappy..

Thanks to Gary Dart for the flattering image...

Thanks to Gary Dart for the flattering image…

ESA, WRAG And The DWP’s Cunning Plans

Most of the search terms that bring people to this blog are based on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) and people wondering what to expect once they are given the benefit (ESA) and sent to the work program.

As I am unable to write about me at the moment I thought it would be a good opportunity to enlighten people to the idea behind this program and the genius that is Iain Duncan Smith’s plans for the long term unemployed, especially those of us on sickness benefits.

It is really quite simplistic and can best be explained in the following 7 words

IF THEY CAN FUCK YOU, THEY WILL

Sadly that is the stark reality, if by some miracle you make it through the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and are placed into the work program you will made to feel like such scum that eventually you will do something that results in the DWP/ Job Centre sanctioning you and losing your benefits.

The providers of the work program take nothing into account when it comes to your mental health, your needs and requirements. When I attended Seetec I offered them advise on how to help people with anxiety, they were having group meetings with 20+ people and one lady there had a panic attack. I spoke to the manager of the centre and suggested to them that they have one of the empty rooms in the building available as a place for people to go if things were getting too much for them. I may as well have asked them to wipe my arse with bread and make a sandwich out of it based on the reaction, and subsequent lack of anything being done.

What they will do is make you attend workshops whereby the best option they can suggest is to become self employed, nearly every session I attended they tried to force me onto this workshop. I sat in on one to listen to the wonderful success stories they could provide us with, the tales of how many people they have got back into employment….. forgive me while I go and repair my sarcasm detector which just exploded…

The biggest success story that they could tell us about was a couple they got off of benefits who now did Car Boot Sales for a living… oh yes that weekend tradition of selling off crap for pittance.. which of course can only be done during the summer months assuming that it has not been pissing down with rain the night before…..

If you are given any appointments to attend work program providers, do not expect any help if you are unable to make it. They will simply mark you down as not attending and will inform the job centre where you will most likely be sanctioned, and not even notified about the sanction until after your money has been stopped.

Attend everything they ask, grin and bare it because the big plan of the DWP and IDS is to make you come off benefits by hook or by crook. If you simple say “fuck it” and give up the benefits all that matters to them is that in the media they can proudly state that x amount of people are not claiming benefits anymore.

We are not people with feelings, illnesses, ailments we are simply scroungers to be put through as many hoops as possible, and sadly too many of us cannot cope with this treatment and lives are lost – which again results in propaganda statements about people coming off benefits.

The media are hardly going to say “55000 people are no longer claiming benefits, because they have taken their lives due to the DWP/IDS killing machine”

The worse thing about all of this is that it will only get worse, zero hour contracts will become the norm and the MP’s will continue to get pay rises…. and a change of government will make little difference. The next stage is that we are expected to spend 37.5 hours a week looking for jobs, if we cant get a decent paying full time job they will expect us to take multiple part time jobs to make up the difference, and we will be forced to sign up to a website that is full of fake jobs and scams….

Naturally as we are British and have a stiff upper lip we will continue to hold our ankles and take it…

 

#mentalhealthselfie

Proof that I do smile now and again! seeing as there is a big no make up selfie campaign doing the rounds on twitter and facebook to raise awareness of cancer here is my own version for mental health

mentalhealthselfie

ignore the chins – operation fat bastard is underway although the score so far is treadmill 1 – moose 0

and no make up in sight…..

A Friends Role is..

How do you define a friend? what role should a friend play in helping you with a mental health illness?

Are you like me and have high expectations of people because you act in a certain way and believe that you should be treated the way you treat others?

I ask because I am starting to wonder what exactly some of my “friends” bring to the table these days.

I like to think I am supportive, and can be called upon to pick up the pieces for a friend in need.

I seem to have lots of toxic friendships, people who seem to think letting me down is okay but worse of all is the people who seem to be able to dish out verbal lashings in the name of “caring”

Sorry but I call bullshit on this! and I am fucking sick and tired of being called stupid, among other things, because I want to try something else to get better.

Firstly if you did care like you proclaim you would already know I have self esteem issues and really do not take kindly to being called names

Secondly telling me I cant do something is akin to waving a red flag at a bull

and more importantly

if you are a friend you would fucking support me not wait for the time to say “I told you so”

I seem to have too many friends who only need me when it suits them but now I am thinking and seeing a lot more clearly and toxicity has no place in my life at the moment.

So put simply, the days of me chasing after friends and being the only person who actually makes any effort to communicate are in the past.

If you think something I am doing is stupid support me anyway because I can guarantee you that there are stupid things you have done during our friendship that I have been there and picked you up afterwards!

The sad things about this rant is that it is not aimed at a single person but quite a few

So my message is as follows

Support me or fuck off!

and now i wait for the people who assume this is aimed at them to go on the defensive… funny how guilt makes people react isn’t it……

Quick Update

I am still here, still struggling to write and still dealing with more shit than I can currently handle – as always most of it self inflicted but moose is still fighting and just about clinging on.

Things have been improving in terms of how I am viewing myself, I am starting to get my confidence back again, helped by actually having a sex life again! yep moose has found his game again and rutting season is in full flow…

Hard enough (pun intended) to believe that one person finds me attractive but even better is when its a few people

BUT even better than having a few admirers is when they actually come over and visit! So besides being worn out by “moose meating” (I LOVE this phrase, thanks Mary for coining it) and an attack of the deadly man flu I do feel fairly positive again.

So much so that I am actually driving myself mad by a lack of activity! I have no plans currently, all the things I wanted to do have had to be held back until September/October time in terms of courses. Financially I am fucked and cant afford to implement any of my other goals until I get rid of this huge debt I am paying off – for someone who has such bad credit how the hell these companies keep giving me loans I do not know! but 3 out of 5 are paid off and slowly but surely I am getting the others down… I would say I am currently on the bread line but I cant afford bread… Money and Moose is not a good mix at the moment but I am proud that I have managed to clear nearly £800 of debt since the turn of the year although the struggle feels never ending!

I have had some amazing moments of clarity the last few days and can start to see a bright future, once I get this fucking debt cleared! I am very grateful to a few people who I wont name who have kindly donated via this blog to help me out – you have no idea how much this has meant to me. The friendships I have made since I started writing have been wonderful and I am honoured to have you in my life as friends and “mooseketeers”

My down moments are actually horrendous at present BUT with each one comes a new strength and peace of mind as I can process all the issues that are holding me back. Stepping back and being able to look at things as an outsider is a real positive and one that came from this blog.

At some stage who knows I may even take the advice I hand out to people and use it for myself! but I am taking Janes advice and working on a list of things I want to do and although I am two months behind schedule this year I am already doing things this year that I havent done for a long long time.

I want to get more involved with charities this year and get myself back out there again, these four walls in my home are starting to depress the hell out of me, once this poxy weather improves I intend to make the most of the sunshine again. I have places I want to visit, friends far away that I want to annoy in person and dare I say it…find a new Miss Moose.

Today is the first day in a long time that I have felt able to actually sit here and write a post,  this is a good sign because I have missed blogging! It has helped me so much, made me grow as a person and I want thedepressedmoose to be more famoose than ever! I am starting to realise that the only person who is hurt by my hiding away is me!

The penny is dropping again that I DO have a lot to offer and now I want to strike while the iron is hot.

It also helped seeing my face on Mind’s facebook page! who doesnt love a bit of fame now and again!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

 

what has also been fun is people actually interacting with me via my facebook page! I need to pay more attention to it and get people talking- after all its how I have turned many of you from readers to friends! drop by the page, like it and say hi! find it here

so much for a quick update! but was good to feel the writing bug come back again!

so tell me, how are you REALLY doing?