Dreaming the dream!

So it is 3.33am as I write this, the heating is now back on after 3 days of being off and it was uncomfortable and depressing to be without it for a few days. I had to persevere with try with trying to get in contact with the right person to come and fix it, I also got some advice from a Facebook group on how to contact my landlord which was really helpful. One of the pieces of advice was to contact the team I work for in the council on Monday but luckily it is all fixed now so I should not have to worry about it for a while (fingers crossed).

I had just woke up from yet another war like dream this time it was about Russia invading and attacking Ireland and bombing the place with some kind of poisonous gas. I feel extremely sorry for those people in the Ukraine living in such a cold country at this time of year going through an invasion by their neighbour, going without electricity, gas and food on or near the front line. It’s still very unclear to see what will happen with regard to the outcome of the war and what Putin wants to happen. I do worry that it could still escalate into world was 3 in our life time and that really is a scary prospect and that worry does appear to be showing up in my subconscious as I hope for the best but fear the worst.

Oxygene Part 4 (extended) – JeanMichel Jarre.

The system only dreams in total darkness

Woke up at 1:30am after having a dream that I was in my lounge in the house we used to live in, in Liverpool, in the dream I was half asleep and half awake just about to nod off in front of the TV. Then from the window I see an explosion of a mushroom cloud of a nuclear detonation going off in the background. Back in the real world I wake up and open my eyes just to make sure it is not really happening and so now its 2:30am and I am sitting in front of my PC/TV typing away about what I just saw in said dream.

Dreams and nightmares are very intrusive at times I can rationalise or come to terms with my waking thoughts but dreams can sometimes catch you off guard and inflict ideas and visions onto you that you perhaps would rather not think about or comprehend.

So then I went to twitter for some inspiration and that then led me to  Pintrest where I saw this little iced gem of inspiration.

Speaking of icicles my heating stopped working yesterday and I have had no hot water or heating on since yesterday morning I was out most of the day so did not find out until getting home at 10pm and phoned the emergency number and reported it. They said they should be out in 24 hours or so and I am guessing they don’t work weekends so probably catch up with an enginner on Monday now.

I hope it stays like this as my home feels warm to me and I am wrapped up warm too with a hoody on my top and a blanket on my legs. Its about -3 oC outside and still about 15 oC in my flat so not to cold.

Song The System only dreams in total darkness by The National

Life, Love and Loss

A lot has been happening in my family’s life over the last month. My mum has now moved into her new built home which is lovely place and I must get some photos of it too. But as for now I don’t have any yet.

Her dog that is a rescue dog called Milly and absolutely loves the new home and is even after nearly 3 years is beginning to trust me a little more too and not see me as a person to bark at and be fearful of all the time, which is great.

Mums dog Milly

Just got back from a weekend in mums new home after visiting with a friend who was helping us do stuff in the house too. The house is looking much more like a home now with a lot more of mums boxes from the movers unpacked. Her place is looking lovely now.

My friend Justin that was helping us with the move has also just started a new job as a mental health support worker. One of the area of guidance and advice that he will be offering to people is talking to people who are suicidal and providing them with help and support or offering interventions where necessary such as hospital or 999 calls.

This leads me onto something that I have been avoiding talking about on this blog, to friends or family or anywhere to be honest for about a month. But a wonderful human being that used to be a supporter of my blog called Ashley Peterson took her own life in October and I very much feel like the world has lost one of its brightest lights. She had a lived experience of depression and was an author, former mental health nurse and wonderful human being, with great warm, kindness and humanity.

She commented on one of my blogs on the 16th October and then on the 18th October took her own life. There was no hint on her blog or in her comment that she was in any way at that time suicidal or in any way struggling. Its often those that you lest expect or at least at unexpected times are the ones most vulnerable. Having lost an aunt and a brother to suicide already I am so very sorry for her family and what they must be going through now because of the hole left in their lives and the light going out of such a bright and loving soul.   

I always try to keep an eye out for certain people that I worry suffer in the emotional waves of their life and where possible and practical try to support friends and strangers alike for want of a better description help to help those in need and keep them in the land of the living rather than let them prematurely pass into the land of the dead.

I find it upsetting that not all that fall can be caught and that not all that feel lost, can be found in time to be saved. It’s hard enough to know one day everything must pass and all will one day will be gone, but it is particularly sad to me to know when those that commit suicide often feel like they had nowhere to turn instead of taking their own life there is always another option and it is sad when they depart that they did not know at the time what the other option was.

Eric Clapton – Tears In Heaven

Stranger than fiction and more horrifying than Halloween

The world has gone mad, stark ravingly bonkingly looney tunerlingerly mad and we are so used to knowing this, that it no longer upsets, disturbs or surprises us. Well it’s all kind of very normal now.

We vote for politicians that we hate and distrust or even better don’t vote at all, for policies we don’t believe in and support in order to manage the disintegration, destruction and dismantling of the world.

If your an atheist you can blame those dam religious nuts for trying to force their somewhat medieval views, opinions and prayers onto the rest of us.

If you are religious you can blame those degenerate freedom thinking folk or go straight for the jugular and claim that those that don’t believe what you believe that are evil and going straight to hell.

If you have no view or interest on what is going on concerning the future of the planet or even just the next election for who you can vote for or how or even what the earth will look like in a year or decade from now then fair bleeding play for reading this far into the blog post but also a little shame on you for simply not caring.

Madness in reality is now the new norm, with the leader of the UN saying we are on the highway to hell due to the climate catastrophe unfolding right before our very eyes and we either a) agree and say hey ho what do you know or (b) choose blindly ignore what is happening or (c) to know what is being stated but claim without evidence or factual information at your side that it is fake news and a mainstream conspiracy.

Scientist and news outlets have warned and reported on the destruction and potential destruction of the earth since I was a child and the news and scientific reports are continuing to be accurate and get worse and yet as a people we seem powerless to act and are just spectators on the side-line of a man made apocalypse.

You could not invent or make up a lie that is crueller than the truth.

No story told, book written or film seen is as down beat and nerve wreckingly potentially depressing and madness inducing as our very own potential unfolding right before our eyes future the destructive nature of man and his/her capacity to be born into such a wonderful environment and then with out even realising, caring or being able to stop him or herself witness its very destruction.  

If we can get over worrying about how many pennies or cents that are promised in a pay check, instead of worrying more about what those pennies or cents can be used for that are taken out of a pay check for the benefit of you and others then we might just stand a chance of surviving this sorry mess we built up for ourselves in 2022.

But alas not even the basic sums of human decency and respect seem to add up in the general consciousness these days and perhaps they never did. Dictators invade or plan there next invasion or bomb drop on the free. The democratic nations of the world continue only able to vote for their own pennies or cents in their own wallets and with an eye also to keeping economic migrants foreigners from your shores.

New Tory Govt crash and burn the price of the £

The beautiful political landscape of a democratic nation in a state of flux right now!

The new UK Conservative Government announced a load of tax cutting and borrowing policies this week that resulted in a crash of the pound against the dollar to an all time low as even the stock markets reacted to the UK government as if to say ‘what the hell are you playing at, doing that with your economy’.

When a governments or political parties boast about tax cuts to benefit your wallets, what there really saying in this day and age is their actually trying to reduce the amount of goods, services and support that they are trying to provide to you and others.

You might feel good to have a few pence or pound in your wallet each month but what there really trying to tell you is all those ongoing government problems that they have not solved concerning how to hire more doctors and nurses and reduce waiting times for health services for the one in five over-50s who have dropped out of UK workforce who are on National Health Service waiting list for treatment are not going to have an improved system of care anytime soon to help get them back into work and be healthy contributing members of society anytime soon.  

Over the first 46 years of my life I have had the support of my government at times its shelter and protection and healing as well as an opportunity to again be given the chance to stand on my own two feet and live, work and be free to make my own way in life once again.

I don’t expect something for nothing or to live off handouts. I work full time, pay for my own food, shelter and life expenses. But there have been times in my life where I have needed the help from the UK government to enable me to again be in a position where I can look after myself once again and be independent.

I don’t know where or how well or even if I would still be alive today, had my life not occasionally  been injected with some government support in order to help my become well again, once sick or fed and sheltered again when at risk of being homeless or unemployed and impoverished.

Benefits, health services and provisions of homes for the homeless are in no way god given rights in any country to any citizen and due to an inherent mental health condition that I was most likely born with, I will always be at risk of losing everything due to an illness that can trigger potentially at any time and under the right circumstance.  

I do my best to look out for myself, do all I can to keep my mental health stable and well but ultimately I am potentially blind to when or how I might become unwell again and whether or not my life will be structured with enough safeguards in order to come out of my illness on the other side at an as yet undetermined time in the future. Having a national health service really has kept me alive and mentally well. Had I been born in a different country or at a different time I just don’t know what support and assistance I would be able to have in order to maintain a good quality of life for myself.

I have personal lived experience of when a society decides to invest in its people rather than just its banking system, the huge gains and returns on that investment and I am very grateful for the assistance that I have received. At the very least I wish to vote, fight and advocate for others as well as myself to have a reasonable quality of life and social support in order to help them when they are down and not just help them to help themselves when they are rich and assume those that are not wealthy must just fend for themselves and hope for the best health, endure the worst poverty or die trying.

The Killers – Human

Dream psych and spiritual awakening

When I was 19 and studying politics and economics at university in Southampton I had a dream that really inspired me at the time and I thought that the dream was so unusual and important and like a revelation that I still remember it to this day.

The dream started with me in a dark basement where I was then walked up the stairs out of the the dark basement by my brother into a beautiful and flourishing garden in daylight with a huge oak tree with green leaves on it at the centre of the garden. The oak tree had a small cat trying to catch leaves from the ground but the branches were too high up for the cat, so the cat could not attach the leaves like it wanted to.

Then there was also a very interesting sight on the grass of the garden where I saw 3 almost Aztec multi coloured lizards waking around in like a circle. I have always been interested in the meaning of dreams and their ability to be an interpretation of our present or a possible insight into the future.

From what I could decipher from the dream the dream was kind of reflecting on the fact that I was going to come out of a dark place where into a spiritually better place almost like an awakening.

Very soon after I had this dream I unfortunately experienced my first psychosis which was very upsetting and unsettling. I lost my home, many friends, a lot of money and had to move to a new place and move back in with my mum, while I came to terms with what had happened to me and tried to heal myself and prepare myself to be strong enough to make my way in the world again.

When I had my first psychosis I had no experience of mental health difficulties and no idea what was happening to me and it was a very scary moment in my life. But this dream gave me strength and comfort in that although I would be losing out and experiencing suffering in the short term I new I had the potential to hopefully come out of the experience stronger and wiser and be in a better place than where I had come from before.

Just like walking up the stairs out of the basement into the beautiful garden with the oak tree. But even in that garden there were still potential trials and tribulations as well as wonders and opportunities, with the threat of the cat trying in vain to attack the oak tree, and the wonder of the three multicoloured lizards walking around in a circle on the grass. This all took place in a beautiful setting of the oak tree in full bloom on what looked like a summer’s day. It felt that so long as I continued in life to walk up the stairs out of the basement to the garden that I would be ok and have my brother now in spirit around to assist me should I even need him to show me the way to walk.

This life is a lot harder than I ever thought it could be but at the same time I do have a feeling that my soul chose to be born now at this time in this place and face the life choices that I make and try to come to terms with and survive and thrive with regard to whatever comes my way. I do not know what is around the corner, but I do know that I will always try to do my best for god, life and those that I love.

Amy Macdonald – Dream On

This is my truth

James – Sound
Back in 2020 not today, today I am doing ok

Back in 2020 I expereince my first psychosis for nearly some 10 years. I am lucky in that I have good insight into when I become unwell I know when I am hallucinating and I know when I am delusional and with the help of medication and medical staff, friends and family I worked hard to hold down my job, keep a roof over my head and get well all at the same time. I know times like now are times when I risk becoming unwell again and I must be mindful of this happening to me now.

Symptoms of psychosis

The 2 main symptoms of psychosis are:

  • hallucinations – where a person hears, sees and, in some cases, feels, smells or tastes things that do not exist outside their mind but can feel very real to the person affected by them; a common hallucination is hearing voices, though my hallucinations manifest themselves as visual lights, on the rare occations that I see them I know I am very unwell.
  • delusions – where a person has strong beliefs that are not shared by others.

The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can cause severe distress and a change in behaviour.

james – Don’t wait that long

Onions have layers, like people have secrets

I started this blog on 1st February 2020 nearly two years ago hoping to shed a skin or two of layers of my perception of life and write about my mental health experiences and my view on politics, loves and life. It’s such a good form of self expression having a blog and just as much fun reading and seeing what other people view and share too. I tend to go through phases of wanting to read others, wanting to look over my own and also wanting to write on my own or find new ones to follow.

But one thing I still have not had the ability to do yet on here is come out about my mental health (both past and present) and I am not sure if or when I ever will. The thing about publishing on the World Wide Web is although not many people do read this blog, it has the potential for anyone I know or even don’t know to read it and judge me. That judgment might then result in someone thinking less of me which is not a big deal, but if that judgement resulted in a work colleague or employee then making life difficult for me or even causing me to lose a job over then that would be a huge problem for me.

I work hard to pretend to be normal in a work environment and that hard work enables me the comfort of sleeping with a roof over my head in my own flat in a comfy bed and with relatively few nightmares. To come out about my mental health difficulties on here makes me feel that I risk all of that. So I don’t really discuss it or go into great detail about it really so as not to be at risk of being found out. Maybe my circumstances will change one day or something like that but I feel safe in my own skin leaving it as it is for now.

I take very few photos of myself although I have found one that a friend took in the most awesomely friendliest bar in Exeter called the Arcade that I was in recently.

Me, Will, Kev, and Nate (all legends on their own barstools)

People are strange! But I am stranger.

Friends relationships seem to be shifting on rocket fuel at the moment, in such a fast motion it’s as if there is a huge hurry for those that can enter them and such hope and joy for them when things are going right and a huge disappointment for those that can’t or for when things go wrong.

I am very lazy and shy when it comes to relationships. I am very happy in my own skin and don’t want to jeopardise my somewhat fragile state of contentment, happiness and positive control over my own life. When it comes to make ups, break ups, heart missed a beat moments and heartbroken temper tantrums I have been there got the t-shirt.

There are still many strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities that are out there in life. My job is tough at the moment but I accept that and make the most of it. It’s a place in time doing something that I want to do and would not know where else I could be and can’t really imagine myself doing anything different right now. But I still keep my eyes open to possibilities that come up.

Well that’s my kind of attitude to life in general at the moment. Duck and dive, roll with the punches and keep my eyes open for the next trick shot.

Mumford & Sons – Blind Leading The Blind

The weighting game

Train trip down to Cornwall

So I went on a train trip down to Cornwall, a couple of weeks ago, where I was able to celebrate Christmas, Easter and pubs reopening all in one week with my parents. I also even found time to get my hair cut for the first time in 6 months to ensure that I no longer look like I am in some kind of 70’s TV police show.

Haircutted April 2021!

I have also been trying to lose weight, since my diabetes diagnosis and its happening slowly but surely and I weighted in this morning and find that since I started reducing my intake of unhealthy foods, portion sizes and eating less carbohydrates and more vegetables I have lost about 1 and half stone in weight or 9.5 kg. I was a little worried about my weight this week because I went out on my first lads night on the beers for the first time in over a year and also had a meal out to. But I was still able to loose a little weight due to the healthier eating and drinking in the rest of the week.

I still have a heavy weight to loose and a long way to go but it’s all going in the right direction. My biggest risk to my physical health will be when the pubs open up full time and I want to go out and be social and have a pint and listen to live music. But if I do so once a week and keep on track with my eating for the rest of the week (and my life) I should hopefully be ok.

Gabrielle Aplin – Home
The Killers – Human – Live with Orchestra & Choir