These solipsistic moods

I don’t tend to post reading advice but this is a massively introspective piece about (fundamentally) my mental health. I process things by writing, I find more connections that way and I thought I’d share this particular set of thoughts. It’s based on various journal entries, collated and polished for publishing (I don’t write like this in my journal) and shared with a mind to others who may find the following 3000-odd words interesting or useful. YMMV, obvs. “Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone” Madonna Nary a truer word has been spoken, life truly is a mystery at times and, between you and me, I’ve given up trying to figure it out. To be accurate, I have been …

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Product delights

I don’t think it’ll come as any surprise that I take great delight in finding small improvements in the items I own, especially as I’ve written about this before. I’m always curious about this kind of thing, where design meets functionality, and the benefits it can bring. That said, most of the time when it comes to finding simpler things I end up replacing something I currently use with a newer, better, item and that usually means accepting a compromise of some soft. The balance is finding where that compromise will give me better form or function, over the aesthetical elements of the item. It’s not often you find something that hits both (design aesthetics are a very personal thing …

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44

44 is a tribonacci number, an octahedral number and the number of derangements of 5 items. Since the greatest prime factor of 442 + 1 = 1937 is 149 and thus more than 44 twice, 44 is a Størmer number. 44 is the number of candles in a box of Hanukkah candles. “Forty-Four” or “44 Blues” is a blues standard whose origins have been traced back to early 1920s Louisiana.[1] However, it was Roosevelt Sykes, who provided the lyrics and first recorded it in 1929, that helped popularize the song. “Forty-Four,” through numerous adaptations and recordings, remains in the blues lexicon eighty years later. Angel Number 44 is thought to be directly related to our passions. It tends to deal …

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Thanking myself

It feels a bit like I’ve dropped through a trapdoor into a different world. Or I’m that guy in a movie, standing still in the middle of a busy street, the world moving around me in a fast forward blur. From detached to detached, pole to pole, I have walked. Finding my way and working towards being able to be here, to be now. Sometimes at least. Most times I hope. This is not a permanent residency I know but now I’ve been here I know the way, and the more I visit, the more familiar the path will become. Self-revelation always makes me ‘prose’. Self-compassion always alluded me. I had no idea. Literally none. Every day I was failing. …

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Do something new

It’s a slow slow process, changing your behaviours. Especially given that I’ve honed mine with decades of practice, all driven by a set of internal rules that have governed every waking second since I was a child. It takes time, but it is happening. Slowly. A lot of the focus of my counselling has been on self-compassion. Letting myself fail, not predicting the outcome of things in advance, stepping back when I’m under stress, and learning how to live in the moment. I’ve been able to identify various mechanisms that I have in place which, when flight or fight is triggered, can lead to “not good things”. For me it these “not good things” tend not to be displayed quickly …

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My Glastonbury FOMOing

I hadn’t really thought on it but as last weekend approached, and I chatted to people I knew who were going, I realised how much FOMO I was feeling with not going to Glastonbury this year. Add in three of my favourite bands playing (one of which was a surprise addition) and the FOMO was strong with this one! Ohh and then ALL the sunshine whereas last year we had ALL the rain… pfffttttt! Trying to explain why Glastonbury is such a wonderful experience, especially to those who haven’t been before, is tricky. Yes it’s massive, yes if it rains it kinda sucks to be sodden all day long, yes I have seen many of the bands already, yes you …

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On Meditating

Picture the scene; A cloud strewn mountain, a clearing with a lone tree under which a monk sits crossed legged, hands raised with middle finger touching thumbs in a circle, possibly chanting. An ancient ritualistic image, a mystical person channelling his inner … summat or other. This is meditation. Picture another scene; a grey drizzle in Glasgow, a large room with the faint buzz from fluorescent lights overhead, people sitting in chairs, hands in laps, no chanting. This is meditation? At the start of the year I started attending 30 minute guided meditation classes after work. A friend of mine had been going for a while and it’s been something I’d been meaning to try so I was excited to …

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Breathe and stop

It’s easy to get swept along by life, to grab on to things and go where the current takes you but that’s different from choosing where you want to go, even if that means you have to let go of some things and work hard to keep to your own course. Breathe. The above sentence is a wordy way of saying that my counselling is going well and I’m learning more about my own personal motivations, behaviours, and drivers, and that I’m working on changing the ones which are in the ‘not happy making’ camp. Stop. Part of that is to stop. Congratulate myself on my achievements, big or small. Some days that achievement is not putting off the hoovering …

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My First Kiss

The names have been changed to protect the innocent I was eleven when I had my first kiss. Eleven going on eight, as all boys are at that age, our childishness thrown into stark relief against the maturity of the girls in our class. Eleven going on sixteen as we faked our way to maturity. There were a few of us who lived in the same area, played together in the streets and parks, visited parental homes on sunny holidays in a carefully coordinated route to get the most bang for our (invisible) buck. Some evenings we used to sneak into the local football ground through a gap in the fence. If you were careful, and avoided Dick the groundsman …

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Getting Help

I’m not depressed. I’m not suicidal. I’m not unhappy. I just felt a bit stuck. So I’m getting some help and have been going to counselling the past few weeks. I’m not going into much/any detail here, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about me saying that I am receiving counselling, I am getting help. This post is about saying it publicly, making it less taboo for the next man, even if only slightly. And for those concerned about my own well being. I am well. I am good. The counselling is helping already, and I’m glad I’m doing it. If anyone reading this wants to discuss, or ask, me anything further. Or even just shout …

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