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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

Tick Tock

Tick tock I have a clock in every room. Apparently this is a bit weird, at least according to my colleagues at work. I’m not sure exactly when it became weird though; I don’t think it was mentioning the fact I have a clock in the living room, or the one in the bedroom, but when I said there was a clock in the bathroom, that’s when the puzzled looks appeared and the questions started. “You have a clock in the bathroom? Are you timing how long it takes to pee?” “…. you have a clock in … what?” “Is it for a time and motion study of your bathroom habits?” “That’s just weird” For the record, the reason I …

Continue reading

Decluttering Tyler

I am not my job. I am not how much money I have in the bank. I am not the car I drive. I am not the contents of my wallet. I am not my fucking khakis. I am not the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. (paraphrased from a movie we don’t talk about) Three boxes of books and five bags of clothes given to charity, four bags of  assorted rubbish taken to the dump, one bookcase, one box of assorted drinking glasses, and a few lamps gone, and soon to be added to the list of outgoing items are two chests of drawers and a chair bed (sale pending). It’s embarrassing. Not just the volume but how easily …

Continue reading

Sciencing the Resolution

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (I know, it’s a bit late) Ohhh dearest reader, what a wonderous time, the probability of hope, the desire to finally be a better me!!! And so, in this year of two thousand and seventeen I resolve to… ummm… well I’m not really sure. Towards the end of last year I saw, and read, a few articles that promised to help you ‘Achieve your goals in 2017’ or variations on that theme. Many people start the new year by making resolutions. I don’t. Digression: Resolutions always remind me of the story of my Dad sitting in our front room next to the hearth. Just after the bells he asked a neighbour what her new year resolution was. …

Continue reading

The Other Side

Mental health issues can be violent, invasive and debilitating illnesses, chasing you around and demanding your full attention to the detriment of others. They can also be a gentle inhibitor, a subtle manipulator that sits quietly in the background influencing everything, all day, every day, even if we aren’t fully aware of it because it hides from view, somewhere just out of reach. The black dog versus the dark cloud. The black dog hasn’t been around me for a long time, but the dark cloud is never really that far away, floating around in the dark corners of my brain, dust particles captured in sunlight. One of the reasons I keep busy and push push push to do better do …

Continue reading