Realising The Fear

Wednesday really did open my eyes up to a lot of myself. One of which was writing my thoughts down. This is something I’ve known I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I’ve never been able to do it. I’m not really sure why but I think it might be a combination of the new medication I’m on, I’m having a little therapy, and it feels like something broke or changed in me on Wednesday.

Realising just how much fear and anxiety have ruled my life has been devastating in one degree, but freeing in another.

Fear was something we touched on in therapy on Monday, and I’m glad we did. The therapist recommended a book about fear that I listened to a big chunk of on the journey to and from the coast on Wednesday. And I think where it was something that we’d spoken about on the Monday I had realised that I was scared of everything and the therapist talked to me about it. Then going down the coast on Wednesday pushed open the door that was unlocked on Monday.

I’m finding this book really helpful.

I think about the excuses I used to make. For not going to the beach it’ll be things like I don’t like getting my feet sandy, or wet, or both. Or getting sand in my car (I was a var cleaner for almost 20 years, sand is a nightmare to get out of a cars carpets), but that doesn’t matter. It’s just sand. It was fear defeating me.

Even simple things like sitting in my garden to write or read. I wouldn’t do it, it would rarely even enter my head. The last couple of mornings I’ve made a cuppa tea and then gone out and had my tea while writing my thoughts done as the dog is running around doing his business.

This morning I was sitting there in shorts, t shirt, a hoodie and my sandals. I had Max jump up on the seat next to me as I wrote. It was chilly this morning. We’re moving into autumn here in the UK (almost halloween season!!!!!), so the weather is cooling and after a while I did retreat into the house. I am going to keep going out there till the weather is too brisk for my taste.

One of the fears I’ve had the last few days is that I wouldn’t be able to sit and writer as freely inside as I have been outside, but I managed to do it okay today. I’m not sure I can write like that when I’ve got loved ones around me, simply because of the distraction but I’ll give it a go at some point.

My fear seems to be focused on failure or disaster. If I drive somewhere I could be in a crash. But that could happen driving to work. It doesn’t stop me doing that. Yes, I could crash but the odds are massive of that happening.

As for failure. Well, it’s a case ‘well what happens if my book doesn’t do well?’ that’s something I can’t control. The best thing I can do it write the next story. If I play online and join a group doing a team mission and I screw up, what’s it matter? It’s not the end of the world. Learn the lessons from it and try again.

I only fail when I don’t try. When fear stops me. I’ve lived in a state of fear my whole life.

I’m not doing it anymore.

My eyes are open, I’m realising what I can do to move forward and over come this fear.

I’m going to do what scares me. I’m not fearing the anxiety I used to.

I am moving forward.

9th August 2021

Good evening, folks! How are we all doing today?

I’ve not done any writing today, but have been seeing to a few other bits and bobs. Spent some time in the garden as well this afternoon.

I am suffering some sunburn from yesterday! And I’ve felt quite reflective today as I process all the emotions of that day. I’m feeling good overall though. I feel like I’ve got a bit of a bounce in my step and I’m feeling more settled. And I dare say when I was in town I felt a wisp of confidence tickle itself through me. Self-confidence is something I’m eager to work on and build up more. Each day I’m feeling better in myself. I’ve not felt this calm in as long as I can remember. I feel more capable than I have in a long time as well.

Our sorry looking sunflower (with photobomb from Max).

I’m just feeling good! I’m a little scared this energy is going to seep away again, but I’m learning new ways each day to keep my mindset strong.

Right, that’s all for today. I hope you’ve all had an awesome day! And I’ll be back tomorrow.

Be kind.

I little mouse I disturbed when I moved a piece of corrugated steel. Well, there was like half a dozen of them but this poor little one was the only one who hid like this.

Breaking Away From Fear and Anxiety

Today I went to where my old boarding school at Dumpton Gap is. I wasn’t planning on documenting the experience at all let alone as I did, which is why it might seem to start suddenly. I’m going to write it verbatim, as I wrote it. I hope you all enjoy it.

As I sit here on the concrete water break thing I have a desire to go and walk through the surf, bare feet. I have the urge to go into the English Channel up to my waist. Up to my chin even. I didn’t bring a swimsuit. I don’t even own one that fits. I don’t even have a towel!

I have no reason to be scared of the sea. I do fear open water. The sort of water that my feet will never touch never be able to touch the bottom. I’ll never go too deep in the water. Chin deep, no. but waist deep, why not?

For today I’ll sit here and drink this can of Pepsi Max. I’ll let the breeze off the sea wash over me, giving me that hit of sea air salty sea air I remember from so strongly from childhood.

It’s emotional sitting here. Seeing my old school abandoned and left to crumble is heart breaking. My two years there changed my life in many ways. Most of which I hadn’t haven’t even realised yet.

If I had the money I’d buy it and makin make it into a retreat and a centre for young people. That’s a pipe dream though. In this world of raping our heritage it will likely be torn down and an ugly block of flats built that doesn’t fit.

On a clear day we’d look for France on the horizon. Today it’s a clear, beautiful day but I can’t see our European neighbour. I see Haze. I’ll be buying some binoculars, a beach towel and some swim shorts for my next visit to the coast.

I am going to go into Broadstairs, but I’ll take a gentle drive and save the walk along the beach front for another day. I can feel wisps of anxiety creeping in, in and I don’t want to push myself too hard.

This is so much more overwhelming than I thought it was going to be. The salt air, the sound of the waves gently crashing in. The wind across my bare skin. The beautify of it. Why did I allow fear to stop me ex exploring this for so long?

I finally get the courage to sit on the breakfront. My hands are shaking and I need to pee, but the wave splashing mere feet from my feet occasionally splash on my legs and it feels good.

I only realise now how crippling this irrational fear had been.

The water in my eye I tell myself the tears in my eyes are because of the breeze but I know that’s a lie. Its emotionally overwhelming.

I get the best view of my old school from here. Such a beautiful building. The one that replaced it, I drove by. I’m sure its very good and but it lacks the character of Gap House.

I’d forgot how the sea could be two different beautiful colours.

Sitting in my car I see seagulls atop the roof of Gap House. Its character is still there. A lack of maintenance, no care for it will ever erase that.

I’m going to take a slow drive into Broadstairs town now. Curious for the memories and emotions that’ll conjure.

Does this qualify as a pilgrimage?

The beach is called Dumpton Gap. This is my second stop in as many minutes since I pulled away from where I was parked.

I couldn’t park in Broadstairs. So I drove back to Dumpton Bay, having decided to walk along the seafront.

I have a yearning to be here. For the sound of the sea and that salty sea air. Even the raucous seagulls. My parents go on holiday to Paignton each year. my dad spent a small part of his childhood there. I thin kI understand why he is drawn back there now.

Is this where I belong? on the coast? Id This feels like somewhere I shoaled be striving to end up.

Time to walk the short walk into Broadstairs.

Those two shades of colour of the water, the greener of the two seems to be where the bay begins. I’m sure theres a scientific reason for this. for me its just beautiful.

This time down here I look at the haze on the horizon and can just see darker shapes. Is this France? or boats.

Is this just nostalgia? or is this where I belong.

I walk along the top of the sea break. Yes there is fear a section of concrete will break away and I fall, but I was sitting on it not that long ago. I know the chances of it breaking are slim to nothing. I walk along it in the hope of the surf splashing up.

I remember walking along here when I was young. With fellow students, teachers and house parents. The older children could walk into Broadstairs town without adults but in at least pairs. Not along the beach though. We had to have an adult with us if we went onto the beach front.

It feels good being out in this air. This is not a million miles away. It’s a simple drive. There is nothing except my own fear holding me back.

This overwhelming but it feels good.

I’m craving the sand between my toes. The sea water on my feet and around my ankles. I must be able to find a beach towel somewhere. I know I don’t need one but I feel like I do.

As I approach Broadstairs town and beach it strikes me me how I’ve just walked a walk I haven’t done since I was eleven. That’s 28 years ago. I wouldn’t have been able to do this even three weeks ago.

I’m looking at hotels and wondering what their rates are. I need more time down here.

Walking on sand in trainers remembering how different it is to walk on. On the walk back I will be barefoot.

I always forget how big, and arrogant seagulls are.

I’m full of regrets and a little anger at not having done this before now. Of not exploring more.I’ve been saying for years I want to get out more, see more of the UK to start with. Realising how much fear and anxiety has held me back, that I’ve allowed to hold me back, hurts. But I’m not letting this sour the day. This is fuelling the urge to get out. The more I can do this, the more I overcome these fears that have no reason to exist.

The next time I come to Broadstairs I will park at Dumpton Gap and make the walk. It’s good for my soul.

This feeling is alien to me. My head should be screaming at me to flee, get back to my car and get home as quickly as I can. Even the fact my car is a ways away should fill me with anxiety. It’s not though. This calmness, this peace isn’t alien. It’s what I should be feeling. Not fear and anxiety.

I don’t find a beach towel, but I do walk through the sand barefoot. The sand is cold in the shade and hot, but not unbearable, in the sun.

I almost walk back along the concrete barefoot but it’s just a little too harsh for comfort.

I’m looking forward to the walk back. From Dumpton Gap to Bay to Viking Bay, and back again.

I’ve brought trinkets and notebooks (they had awesome notebooks!) in th a couple of the shops at Viking Bay. I spend a few minutes w off the seafront in the town, but not long.

As I start my walk back I realise the tide is slowly going out. I stop to watch th as seagulls skim the surface of the with a precision that I can’t comprehend.

The seaweed is so pretty as the retreating tide exposes it.

I watch the people swimming and admire them. I we don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough or a strong enough swimmer to do that. I’m okay with this.

Is promenade the right word for this concrete path? It seems to fit but I’ll look it up later.

As I walk back to my car I feel I’m walking a little quicker. Not much but just that bit faster. I don’t think it’s anxiety. I think it’s where that feeling of being overwhelmed is softening. There’s been times where I’m feeling almost fuzzy headed. So much to feel. So much to take in. I think It’s going to be a few days at least as I’m processing all this.

Maybe this quicker pace is an urge to get home? I think my mind, mind body, and soul are ready to be in my safe space again. I’m not panicking though. There’s no tightening in my chest. No thumping heart. I’m just ready to take a nice and steady drive home.

Thinking of driving I realise I wasn’t nervous or anxious or scared driving down. This pleases me.

It has struck home just how much I’ve let fear and anxiety ruin me and my life. I’m not going to dwell on it though. I’m not going to let it fester.

My brother has inflatable canoes. Maybe we could bring them down here one day.

This urge to go home isn’t stopping me from stopping and writing my thoughts down.

I hadn’t planned to document they but I had that need to. I’m glad I brought my bag with notebook and pen. Although I haven’t touched my iPad of the book I brought with me.

Money is tight at the moment. But I can afford the fuel and I had a small budget that I’ve stuck to. I’ll be more prepared next beach trip.

I’ve always had a fascination with the sea. I wish I hadn’t let my fears suffocate that.

I haven’t spoken to many people. I regret this but thats something hat will come with more time and exploration.

I feel a little silly and weak with what I’ve felt today. Even sillier for realising just how much I’ve let fear and anxiety ruin my life.

I set out today with only a vague feeling that I needed to do this. I didn’t know what I was hoping for. What I’ve discovered is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

As I sit on this bench, my car a couple of hundred yards away, I’m fearing that I’ll loose this urge ability to act on the urge to explore. That the fear and anxiety will take it from me again. I can not let that happen.

This was something I had to do on my own. I’d like to these with someone else to share the experience, but somethings I need to brave on my own. To build my confidence.

I’ve stopped at a services close to home. I should have stopped sooner, got a drink as I haven’t drank or eaten enough today. But I did go over my budget a little and I’m close enough to home not to worry about it.

I haven’t been watching the clock on the sat nav on this journey. Not long ago I would have done. I can feel anxiety, but it doesn’t feel as dominating as it used to be.

Now I’m home and reflecting on the day I feel more determined that ever to continue this exploration. Yes, summer is almost over but that’s not going to stop me.

Today was a hard hit. A hard realisation of all the time I’ve lost. Now’s the moment to make sure I don’t feel this way in twenty years time.

Good Morning, 1st of September 2021

Hey Folks, I’m sitting here trying to write and sod all is happening. I’ve looked at the documents that I’ve been working on recently and nothing. I’ve tried getting started on a new short I’ve been thinking about, nothing. Even writing this is hard. The words just do not want to come out.

It’s been a long time since I’ve struggled like this. I know a lot of it is non-writing elements. In particular fatigue. But even then I can normally push through and get some words down.

What I’m going to try and do is get 250 words written. Thats it. Start small and start building it up. Look at it like last year when I was trying to get back into the rhythm of it all.

29th of June 2021 – Stealing Words

Good morning folks, How are we all doing today?

I’ve got a busy day today so I’ve made sure I’ve sat down and got some words down before starting. I am hoping to get back into the writing work later on today, but it all depends on how I get along with other tasks.

I have written 456 words this morning on a story called Isolation (placeholder title). This short is now 1007 words long and it tied into a bigger story that I’m working on. More to come on that in the future once I’ve set some more foundations.

I am slowly getting back into the habit of what I think of as Stealing Words. This is where I will write a few words when I have just a few minutes. Like if I get to work a little early then I’ll type a sentence or two. Making sure I write on my breaks. Even if it’s a short shift with a short break, I can squeeze some words in during that time. Even if it’s not good, and I delete it later it’s still words written. Okay, I can’t edit like that. Brainstorming isn’t really doable for these snatches of time either. But writing a few words, for me that’s very doable.

Right, I’ve got to get cracking. I hope you all have a fantastic day! Please look me up on the social medias, the links are on the right hand side of the screen!

Rock on, Folks!

17/6/21

Yesterday I edited 1197 words, which again was like getting blood from a stone. I have very little focus at the moment but I know the more I work the more my head clears and I’m much more capable in myself then if I’m sitting on my arse.

So, forcing my way through that urge to just go back to bed and stay there.

Right now I’m distracted by the falling rain on the road outside my home. I’m not feeling particularly well either, but I’m going to edit and not stop till I hit 10k.

Sometimes I Sit….

Sometimes I sit to write a blog post which isn’t my normal journal entry style that I tend to do. I like to give a little more once in a while, and I’m trying to get better at expressing my opinions. But more often than not I’m sitting looking at a blank screen while I wait for a subject, or even just s few words, to grab me. This post is a prime example. I had a good few minutes of thinking ‘fuck, I’ve got nothing’ but that also happens when I’m writing as well. I’ll look at that blank screen and my mind goes blank.

It’s both bizarre and frustrating at the same time. I know I’ve got the words there but so often they just do not want to play ball. This is where being in a good state of mind helps. If I’m feeling pretty good about myself then I can normally get rolling nicely. It’s when I’m having a bad head day that I struggle.

Thankfully those days and moments are few and far between now. I’ve got enough I can work on that it one idea is flowing well I can dive into another, and I’m finding that brainstorming is really beginning to help when I’ve got nothing coming out when I’m trying to write.

This doesn’t always work, sometimes it’s editing that I can get stuck into, other times nothing helps. But the key is I’m finding more ways to be productive when I’m not able to write.

Good Morning, Sunday 16th of May 2021

Gooooooooooooood Morning, people of the internet!

Not much writing this week. Mainly because of work rota, but a few words yesterday, and some brainstorming here and there. Plus lots of thinking about projects. Both current and upcoming.

I’ve really gotta get back in the habit of brainstorming during my lunch breaks at work. I’ve done it a couple of times this week but I’d like to get a little more consistent with it. I’m having the ideas and I’m beginning to be able to focus my attention on individual projects when I do sit down.

Break time brainstorming

I think some of my hold up this last week has been because I’m struggling once more with Black Blood. I can’t seem to find my flow nicely with it, which is rather irritating. But it’s also making me feel a little like I’m not yet capable of pulling the story off from a technical standpoint. I think the story is good, and the characters are interesting but I need more skill at building suspense and drip feeding details in to build characters up.

Right, I’m off to get cracking at the day job. Have a super Sunday, folks!

Good Afternoon, Sunday 25th April 2021

Hey folks, How are we all doing?

I have edited 10464 words on Penal Earth today. At the moment it’s more continuity, grammar and spelling, and searching for plot holes that I’m working on, but I think come the next edit of this one it’s going to be more about making the writing better, and getting depth of story and character into it. I know there are scenes where I can do better and as a general element I can make the writing better. There is still the odd scene that was written almost a decade ago, and I’ve come a long way since then.

I didn’t get anything done on Black Blood. I burnt myself out with Penal Earth today. I worked, then took a few hours off and when I sat back down, I just didn’t have the oomph.

For the rest of the day I’ve got a stack of bits and pieces to do. I’m going to sit down and write a to-do list of lots of little bits and pieces I’ve been meaning to do for a while and still haven’t got around to them. The problem is they’re nothing vitally important, mainly just filling a few bits and tidying up a wall unit. Nothing that’s going to take a lot of time, and will tidy the place up. I just need to remember to do it and make a little time to get it done.

Right, I’m wrapping this up now. I hope everyone is having a fantastic day!

Although this little lady is becoming quite an affectionate kitty, she still has to sit right in the way!

Good Morning 14th April, 2021 (Make Art Uncomfortable)

Hey folks, how are we all doing today?

Yesterday I wrote 336 words on a short story but also did a lot of research for the same short story, and I’ve come to the decision that I’m just gonna go balls to the walls and yet loose. I’m not going to worry about grounding it in reality. I’m just gonna try and make it batshit crazy.

I’m having trouble letting go when I write recently. Stephen King said in On Writing that you have to write like an orphan, or words to that effect. I was reminded of this when watching the film M.F.A. recently. At the end of the film there’s a line where it basically says art shouldn’t just preserve the beauty of life, but also the brutality. Make art uncomfortable. I love this message. So many of us grow up listening to music about good love, or films where everyone lives happily ever after.

Art is different for everyone. Some people thrive on the uncomfortable while others thrive on a good old romcom. Everyone is different and we embrace different things. For me, what I write, people will find uncomfortable. But some will find it fun. I can watch Saw movies with barely a flinch at the content, but watched The VVitch and The Ritual, made me squirm in my seat. But there are different degrees of being uncomfortable. Listening to the audiobooks of The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum and What Good Girls Do by Jonathan Butcher made me very uncomfortable. Even to the point where I had to stop listening to them. M.F.A. falls into that grouping. Although not as extreme as I Spit On Your Grave, it’s still a content matter that is not pleasant and when done wrong, without the respect the topic deserves it just makes a whole other level of horrific.

For films like The Vvitch and The Ritual, these made me uncomfortable because there’s a witchcraft/cult elements to them. An unknown factor that made me uncomfortable in a way I’d yet to experience. It’s something I’m still trying to put my finger on exactly why I find it uncomfortable.

Another book that made me uncomfortable is The Silence by Tim Lebbon. This one I had to stop listening to three times. It’s got a quiet brutality to it, one which I can see happening. There’s three distinct moments in The Silence which I could see myself being in that situation. Having to make an uncomfortable decision.

Not being scared to write things which people will be uncomfortable with or offended by is something I need to be better with. I’m not going to write something just because it’s shocking. I don’t think that works and people tend to see through things like that. I’ll strive to write what the story is asking for.

Right, speaking of writing it’s time to get a few hours done.

Rock on folks, never give up on that dream. Never let someone take it away or belittle it or you. Just keep going.