Mission Accomplished

I did it, I made it though Christmas unscathed. Obviously as you are reading this so did you!

I took time away from blogging yet the creativity has been bubbling away like the good old days where I could write and not care about how people perceived me.

I have suffered from no ANT issues despite spending the majority of the Christmas period alone. I needed it to be honest with you. I wanted to prove to myself that I could survive on my own again and it was a test that I passed a hell of a lot easier than I originally anticipated.

Of course there were times when the going was tough and I needed someone here, but I kept myself busy and rode through it all with the help of some great people who give and take when it comes to our friendship.

The kids had a great time and have been spoiled rotten, however it has come to my attention that I am indeed a spoilt bastard so I was very disappointed in my lack of presents this year. I could go on about bulging sacks but thats enough of my lack of a sex life for one day…

I have quite a few plans for next year and despite some already going tits up it simply meant I could add more things to do rather than dwell on what might have been, I intend to fulfill as many things on this list as possible and add some more along the way as things develop for me.

I would like to say that I have developed a thicker skin over the past few weeks but on closer inspection it appears to be more turkey, stuffing and roast potatoes than anything else. On the plus side there is more of me to love…

Good times are just around the corner and I will make the effort to go and search harder for them rather than wait for them to find me.

I feel positive about the future and have finally released people, and demons, from the past..

You cant hurt me anymore, I just faced the toughest challenge and sailed through. Everything else from here on in will be a breeze

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Broken Tooth, No Broken Spirit

Nine days till Christmas and I have no intention of putting up a tree this year, as Brandon will be spending the holidays at his mum’s I will be alone for most of the Christmas period, so I really don’t want to look at a tree which is meant to celebrate a time for family.

It was my choice for him to spend most of the time away as I know I will be a miserable bastard and did not want it to impact on him, as my childhood memories of Christmas heavily influence my hatred for this time of year. Better he is with his mum who does a great job with Christmas than to be here with me impersonating the grinch.

Things are good apart from the fact that I broke a tooth at the weekend eating maltesers and as someone who has not seen a dentist for about 7 years I can tell you what great news this was! However being a good boy I was on the phone to them at 8 am this morning and have an appointment for tomorrow where I can look forward to an extraction, I assume, and a lecture (wohooo, I really love those)

On top of this I really have to let some steam off and moan about people. I am really sick of people using me for when it suits them, as an example I have spoken to three suicidal people in the past month and offered them support and an ear, yet do I hear from them again? Seems the majority people are only interested in me when it suits them not when I need someone.

I am getting to the stage where I am not sure that continuing with this blog, and being readily available for people, is such a good option for me. As much as I have enjoyed helping people it pisses me off that these people then avoid me, especially at times when I have asked for help myself. I am happy to give but there are times when it is needed to reciprocated and all too often that is not forthcoming and I am (finally) learning that the only person I can really rely on is myself.

I have “friends” abusing me because I wont give them what they want and do things the way they want them and the selfishness nature of people is grinding me down, more and more I am letting people walk away from me because I just cannot be arsed with arguing and defending myself.

People tend to forget that I have issues that need working on, but the moment I have a bad time I am the bad guy.

All I ask from people is effort, and nothing less than I would put in, but for plenty of people it appears to be an unacceptable request. Give and take is all well and good when it is shared equally, all too often this is not happening.

I am in a pretty good place currently though, despite the broken tooth and I can see things so much better now in terms of how people act around me. I feel stronger than I have felt in a long time, and I am preparing myself to get through the next few weeks when I will feel particularly vulnerable and lonely. I feel able to drop people without it causing me pangs of guilt, even more so when I am not in the wrong! The days of me chasing after people because I want attention all gone, the days of me reaching out to people because I am needy and alone are gone. If people don’t want to talk to me for whatever reason that is fine with me.

I have survived because I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I am a better person than I give myself credit for and its time I gave the people who go out of their way for me more attention because it is those people who deserve it.

When I say I don’t give a fuck anymore I honestly mean it. I will not allow people to affect my mood anymore.

And for those who don’t like it – please do not let the door hit you on the way out..

And for the people I know will stand by me just remember…

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If It Is Bad For Me…

You can bet your bottom dollar that I will either be doing it, have done or in the process of considering doing it.

Even though I know it is bad for both me and my mental health.

Let me give you some examples:

Obviously lets start with the hardest one.

Sheryl wants nothing to do with me, hardly replies to any effort to communicate with me.

So what do I do? I send her a message now and again, then stress that she has ignored me again. What am I expecting from this? Well we all know what I am expecting, it’s called the impossible. BAD!

I want her to divorce me, not because I want a divorce but because I don’t feel like I can truly move on until it happens. If she doesn’t want me why not just file and get it done? Almost six months is plenty of time to miss someone enough to want to try again, as that has not happened then cut ties for both our sakes..

Speaking of moving on…

what the fuck was I thinking when I signed up for online dating? Low esteem is always helped when you are constantly being ignored by strangers who think they are better than you, above you etc. I am pretty sure it is in the “how to help your confidence” book that online dating is the way forward… excuse me while my sarcasm detector explodes! BAD!

Now we all know that I am not coping very well with the whole marriage breaking up issue, I am pretty sure I do not hide it from you as well as I think ūüėÄ but besides Miss Never Gonna Happen deciding that actually it might happen (this is not going to happen for the record) there is nothing to be gained from constantly putting myself out there to be shot down, but I still do. Yet to me that does show a little belief that I do have something to offer someone…

Money – lets cut to the chases, I have none yet when I do have it I spend it like water. The bills and food ALWAYS come first, but I would like to be able to manage it better and not have the stress involved with Christmas around the corner.

I have taken some steps to rectify the financial crisis I am dealing with, but will take a few weeks/months to bare fruit but if it means I can move forward and have a spare few quid in the bank from time to time then hopefully a little short terms pain will be worth it. However kids if you’re reading Christmas is cancelled this year ūüėÄ

I am very conscious of how much stress I am under lately and how much of it is actually all coming from within. I am trying to focus on dealing with it in a measure manner rather than guns blazing, which usually gets me nowhere!

Worse of all though is how little care and attention I pay myself, yet can spend hours trying to help others. This has resulted in the beautiful mess that Garry currently portrays. I MUST learn to use the advice I give others for myself, to value myself more and the past few days I have been working on it, even reading self help books that a wonderful person sent my way.

Changes are in the pipeline for 2014, this year has been the worst of my life and the sooner 2013 fucks off the better. All being well I will be starting a course in February on Mental Health Awareness Level 1. Will provide more details if I pass the interview needed to get on the course.

I really have big ideas for next year that I will be investigating between now and the new year. They are ridiculously beyond me and are only a dream but we have to aim high dont we?

So my pledge to you for the rest of 2013 is to stop doing the things I know are bad for me, to work on Garry and to look after myself better.

Then when 2014 joins us I will be in a much better position to help other people, which is what I really want to do.

Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Whine

Christmas is the time of a year when we are all happily surrounded by family and friends, unwrapping dozens of presents with huge smiles on a faces whilst we step outside and play in the fresh white snow. Assuming you live in Hollywood that is where people are not sad and alone on Christmas Day and people are not disappointed in the lack of presents and listening to parents arguing over dinner or what to watch on the television.
Naturally the real world tells a different picture for someone like me who battles depression and Christmas time is one of the worst times of the year for me, I become sick with BahHumbugitis and count the days until it is over.
Having children and their expectations of gifts to be opened only increases the stress and anxiety of the period, no matter how hard you try to emphasis that Christmas is about family and friends as they get older you feel like you have the parental responsibility to ensure you can do everything in your power, and often beyond, to make sure they are not feeling disappointed. No matter how hard I try to explain to them about finances there is always a part of me that dies inside when I imagine them heading back to school after the holidays to hear from their friends about the shed loads of presents they received whilst my kids are lucky to get multiple presents let alone shed loads! The cruelty of kids these days, especially the “haves” over the “have nots” is an added pressure, and as parents you want to do everything you can for your children.
After all, the Christmas memories you give your children now will reflect their future Christmas emotions.
Growing up as a child every single Christmas guaranteed one thing for me and that was the annual fight between my parents which lead to us being late for dinner at my¬†Nan’s¬† home. Looking back now at my childhood this is THE standout memory of¬†Christmas¬†for me and another reason for me to dislike it.
Every year for the past 10 years I avoid walking into shops throughout December,  avoiding the shops completely let alone the crowds of people rushing around to get food that will be thrown away because they bought too much while I decide whether its presents or food, not an easy choice with four kids ranging from 3 to 15!
The same Christmas songs on a permanent loop year after year, hearing Yoko Ono singing “war is over” one more time could just tip me over the edge, this do not make me full of the spirit of the festive season but makes me remember the disappointments of previous years where Christmas and¬†disappointment¬†fit like hand in glove.
But this year WILL be different, my youngest is 3 and a half and cannot wait for Santa to arrive with presents for her, we have overspent on presents to make sure the boys get spoilt for the first time and I am determined to embrace the spirit of Christmas and make this the best one ever! The kids wont be kids forever and I want them to look back at Christmas with fond memories and when they eventually have kids of their own to enjoy Christmas and not count the days until the tree can be taken down and shops top playing Christmas songs!
I am one of the lucky ones though! I have an amazing wife and four wonderful children, for others they have no one! No family or friends and will be spending Christmas alone making them extremely vulnerable. This is where the famed “spirit of Christmas” can make such a big difference to someone.
The power of a card or even a phone call to someone could really mean the difference between life and death. There is no feeling in the world worse than being alone at a time when we are bombarded with how important family is at this time of year, hiding away for me is not an option anymore. I intend to make the most of Christmas for the first time in my adult life and visit family rather than sending the wife and kids to grandparents and staying indoors on my own sleeping the day away!
I know people with no one at Christmas and I will spend my time checking in on them to make sure they are okay or at the very least letting them know I am thinking about them and available for a chat!

What will you be doing to help someone with depression at Christmas? Look around at your family and friends, the chances are you know someone who suffers and you could be the one to make¬†Christmas¬†for someone who year after year hides away because there is never anyone to be there for them!¬† As a good friend of mine told me “‘you don’t have to be on the streets to be alone and friendless.”

The Dreaded C Word

No not THAT C word this one is the C word that brings stress, anxiety and financial worries.

Yep its that time of year again when we start to get bombarded with the C word – Christmas!

 

Image taken from Wikipedia’s page on Christmas Day

I despise Christmas Day, a day when we are meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus but instead it is a day where I have to watch the kids once again be disappointed by a lack of presents. Even though they try hard not to be, and for that I love them, but every year I die a little inside because I cannot give them what they really want. I would hate to be them when they go back to school in the new year and hear how much their friends have received compared to the single items we give them.

That in itself though is indicative to the problems of Christmas these days, even going back 20 years ago when I was a teenager it was unheard of for shops to display Christmas items before December let alone AUGUST as some shops do now! I went to my local supermarket the other day and the have started filling the shelves with Christmas stuff.

And so as summer turns to autumn we now start the buildup to Christmas day and soon we will be unable to escape from it.

It is not even about family anymore its all about gifts and receiving them, Sheryl and I have not exchanged gifts for Christmas for years to ensure the kids get theirs first.

Why is it now so commercial? It seems to be less and less about the religious aspect each passing year and more about how much money the shops can make from us.

It doesn’t help when you have children so desperate to brag to their friends about what they got, how much it cost etc and I defy any parent to not want to do all they can for their kids at Christmas. They have all the build up from the media and friends and to then wake up to one present can’t be nice for them, but its one more than I usually get.

It is all well and good saying “others have it worse than you” but try making a child understand that! The shops know this and manipulate it to their advantage.

Do children even know what Christmas signifies these days? We are so busy with this political correctness crap that Schools seem to be more concerned with children being taught about other religions in the name of “tolerance and understanding” that we are in danger of forgetting that we live in a Christian country.

My birthday is on November 29th and any talk of Christmas is banned in the moose household until after that day but that does not mean the kids are not already planning their wish lists and that we are not already counting every penny to be able to try and give them what they want.

It is bad enough that come December you cannot walk into a shop without hearing the same Christmas songs being played, the same Cd that is released every year РNow that what I call Christmas Рif you have worked in retail you will know these songs back to front, word for word and could probably sing them backwards!

If I ever see Yoko Ono I will rabbit punch her whilst singing “war is over!”

A Christmas rant in September who would have thought but before you know it the day will be upon us, I know this thanks to people posting on Facebook that its less than 100 days away – gee thanks for that.

All in all it means the next few months will not be fruitful in terms of my recover because I can honestly say I am not a fan of Christmas day in its current commercial only celebration. I would go so far as to cancel it for a year if only I could get away with it, if it was not for those pesky kids!

Depression and Christmas does not a happy moose make and as quick as it comes I will be happier come 26th December when it is all over for another year, well another 9 months until the shops start the whole process again!