I’m A Stress Eater

When I’m stressed out I overeat. When I was younger it was really bad. I’d eat two or three bars/bags of chocolate a day, and I’m talking the large share bags/bars of chocolate not the little ones you get at a newsagents.

It’s a coping method and something I just did. There wasn’t any thought going into it and it’s not been till the last few years where I’ve started connecting the dots and realising its a problem. I try and figure out what pushed me to food, and I find I’m a little grateful I wasn’t going out drinking in those days. Addiction is something that I’ve always feared, so I never really drank too much alcohol and definitely never did any illegal drugs or abuse legal drugs. I didn’t realise that sugar was sneaking in and claiming me, not until many many years later. I used to think ‘at least I’m not an addict’ not realising there was more to addiction than alcohol and what I thought of as drugs.

As I’ve got older its harder to eat as much, and that’s coincided with me realising it’s a problem. And in particular the last eighteen months or so it’s something I’ve been trying to manage better, not very successfully but I’m trying. Writing this post will hopefully help with that as it’s admitting it in such an open forum.

This is a very big bar of chocolate, and I only ate a little of it and have the rest for other days.

I’m listening to my body a lot more, and that’s something which feels like it’s changing. I used to stuff my face and then wonder why I was feeling rough, totally ignoring the tub of ice cream I’d just eaten. Now I’m realising when I’m full, but also managing to stop myself from eating more. It used to be that I would keep going until the bar/bag was finished. The thought of leaving some for tomorrow either didn’t occur or seemed like an obscene concept.

Since realising just how bad I can binge eat and figuring out how to firstly manage it, and now try and beat it I am feeling better. I know the days when I don’t beat it. I feel heavy and sickly. I’m putting so much rubbish into my system and I need to at least compensate with more water for example (drink two litres of water a day folks!). But I feel like I’m going in the right direction with it. I drink less energy drinks, try and eat less sugary snacks and snacks in general. After my evening meal I feel full now, and if I do have something I’m trying to just have a bit but I’m working on not eating if I feel full.

Tea has to have sugar in it!

I’m also thinking about the ‘when’ of eating. Too much sugar in the evenings affects sleep, which when insomnia is something you battle with you don’t really want to give it an ally. I’m trying not to eat after 9pm and with the exception of an occasional hot chocolate I try to just drink water or squash after 9pm as well. I’d like to cut this down to 8pm if I can but for the moment I want to be consistent about having that 9pm shut off.

At times I feel like I’m winning, and then I have a major setback and feel like hell and guilt trip myself for failing so hard, which then strengthens the urge to binge eat. It’s one of those vicious circle things. But I feel like I can get the balance right. Am I likely to give up sugar? no, but I can live my life without it dictating my intake of it. If I consume less sugary snacks I’ll start feeling it both physically and mentally and I’ll hopefully loose a little of the extra weight I’ve gained this last year, I’ll feel better mentally and that’s a win all around.

I don’t actually like this picture of me cause I look at it and just read my gut 😕

Working On Self-Care

This coming week I’m off from work. So I’m going to try and have a productive week. I’ve got non-writing bits and bobs to do but I’m going to have a nice few hours to get some work done. Relaxing and some self-care is a priority this week.

I’m liking where my head is. The new medication is working well and I’m feeling better than I can ever remember feeling since childhood. I’m still having rough moments, but I’m handling them and feel like I’m managing my emotions well. I’m finding doing some gaming is helping, but I’m being thoughtful and not letting it become a negative. I’m playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto V online, which used to have moments when I’d feel like screaming (normally trolls), but playing it now I’m not only not getting stressed out while playing it I’m pushing myself and exploring more of the features. I’m still not fond of doing missions but I’m getting businesses running and being proactive about making money! When I game I turn off from everything else pretty much, which I find helps once in a while.

I am planning on getting out and about, visiting places I’ve always wanted to go to but was always defeated by my anxiety. I’ve got a few hurdles in the way still, but I’m working on it.

Diet wise I’m trying to be more thoughtful about what I’m putting into my body. I’m not doing as well with my lust for sugar, but It’s something I’m conscious of. I think I mentioned in my post about hating my body about being heavier now than I’ve ever been. I know I’m not huge, but I’d like to loose a bit of weight and get back to where I was.

I do like my energy drinks a little too much, that I am pleased to say I’ve got a nice handle on. I’ll admit I had one today but that’s the first I’ve had in a few days. I’m also drinking less cola and more squash.

Getting a little fitter is a thought as well. I’m going to start walking. I’ve got some great scenery around me so why not enjoy it more. I’m sure Max the doggo wouldn’t be against this!

I’m also getting my head back into reading again. I’ve finished two books that I’ve been reading for far too long in teh last month and feel like I’m getting back into the habit nicely.

Sleep is still a struggle (overlaid and was almost late for work today!), but I’m working on sleep hygiene and making my sleeping environment much more calming.

I’d like to talk more about my mental health journey on here. Where I’m not feeling as anxious about it I feel able to open up about certain elements of it. I don’t often see men talking about mental health. I think it’s this sense that we’re seen as weak if we do, or that it’s just not done. That’s one of the reasons why I never used to talk about. Men don’t talk about their health, especially mental health. I think that’s why male suicide is so high, because we bottle it up and then we can’t take anymore and it all explodes and we can’t handle it. I’ve had brief suicidal thoughts. I say brief because I’d have the thought and then I’d immediately shut it down.

Embracing my whimsy more ☺️

Don’t be scared to ask for help. There are organisations out there to help. Like many, I can’t afford therapy but thankfully there are organisations who will provide help. Even if it’s not much, it’s a start and you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference a little help from someone who’s been trained can make. Hell, even if it’s the Samaritans it’s worth calling.

Each day is a small step. Some times its day by day, and as a friend said tonight, sometimes it’s an hour by hour. Reach out for help, speak to a friend who you trust, who will be sympathetic. Men, women, non-binary’s, don’t hold it in. It only makes it worse.

Remember, it can always get better. It just takes patience and work.

27th of August 2021

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

I’ve had somewhat of a slow day after I finished work but I did get a few words written after getting other bits and pieces done.

Lovers got 432 words and Mermaid got 328 words. I’ve added a new element to Mermaid that I think gives it what it was lacking previously.

I still feel like I’m snatching words. I’m not able to get my butt down and get stuck in properly recently. I’m working on changing it up. I am working on my focus and discipline but in areas outside of writing. Hopefully I’ll be able to transfer those across to word wrangling as well.

Right, part of what I’m doing to improve focus, amongst other things, is working on sleep hygiene. And speaking of sleep, I’m off to bed.

I’ve had this for a while, finally sussing put what to put in it!

Good Morning, 16th Of February 2021

Good morning, folks!

I’ve been awake about an hour and I’m just about to get going on my mornings writing before I go to work. I’m pulling myself kicking and screaming to the laptop today though. I slept, but I don’t feel like I had a settled night. I know I just need to wake up fully, and getting some work done will help.

Something I realised about myself a long time ago was that if I get a good start to the day then the day is almost always better. It gives me a positive mindset and a sense of accomplishment. So that no matter what else happens that day I’ve already been productive and that puts me in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day.

Raven’s cold

It was a struggle to get out of bed when I did today. I had an internal battle with going back to bed for a couple of hours. I don’t have to be at work until this afternoon, so I could have had a few more hours but that felt like a surrender. I preach about being productive and I do that a lot to try and trick myself into doing it. Sometimes it’s easier to just roll over, but then nothing would have got done. I’ve got a few hours where I can just sit and work. I can sleep after work.

First song on a YouTube playlist this morning 🙂

11th February 2021

Yesterday I started the day off well. I got up early and got work done. I took a member of my household to the dentist and while they were in there I did some scouting in Gravesend town centre, in particular the Civic Centre (see video for more). Once I got home though, I took a mental health hit.

Something small triggered it, something that I see often but yesterday was the first time it knocked me like it did. I didn’t hit rock bottom, but I did fall somewhat. This made it hard to sleep, I think I had maybe two hours altogether. Maybe three at the most, and most of that was today. I was up at 8am like I planned, like I was yesterday but I knew I had to get my head back down. I finally got up at about 10ish and have felt that lack of sleep all day. I’ve tried to nap this afternoon but with no joy. So I’m going to work for a little while, not long, maybe an hour, and then a bath and reading after dinner. Try to relax into sleep.

On the plus side I did get some writing done last night. A little bit on the vampire era, and the part of it I was working on struck me that it might be a part where people may assume that I’m taking from real life experiences a little too literal. I do bleed into my work. I take what I’ve experienced and put it into characters, but how I think I do it is I put the dark moments I’ve had into the stories, but not the situations. I may get close with the odd one but I’ve not got the urge to turn my life into literature, not 100%.

My story ‘The Wank Diaries’ was one I bled into a lot. When I rewrote the ending after I was trying to get myself back it was a totally different vibe to the original ending and changes the tone of the story.

People ourselves into in our work is something that we all do, even if it’s something that’s subconscious. A lot of the time I don’t think we can help it. Writing, for me, is a great form of therapy. I can channel my emotions into my characters and I hope it makes them more real. More relatable.

Another plus side to last nights insomnia was I did look at the Vampire Era again. It’s on my to-do list but I’ve been so preoccupied with Penal Earth and Black Blood I hadn’t got around to looking at it. I’m going to start working on it, because it’s a rewrite and it’ll allow me to write while also working on editing and building worlds. I need to make sure I can find a way to be writing as well as working on the other elements of producing content.

Which is what I’m going to do now!

Getting Back On Track (9/2/21)

The last couple of weeks I haven’t got a lot done. Partly I was feeling unwell, but I think more of it was I was drained. Physically, Mentally, and emotionally. Just sometimes it all catches up with me and I adjust what I’m doing, moving my focus to where it needs to be. Which normally means writing is what suffers.

But, it also helps it. It’s a recharge for me. It allows that creative element of my soul rest, it lets me fill the creative well by (trying) to watch new things. I am heavily influenced by movies and TV, probably more than I realise!

It also helps me refocus. Normally when I take some time away from writing when I come back to it and I’ve got a better idea of where I am and what I need to aim for (which is something I definitely need to do!). It helps ideas grow as well. Even when I’m not writing I’m always thinking about it. There’s one idea or another head-banging in my brain and making sure I know it’s there.

I feel like I’m on the verge of getting back into the flow of it. I felt it a little on Sunday but I pulled a few extra hours at work yesterday which wore me out. I’ve not done a lot today, although I’ve added furry family member videos to YouTube today. I’ve got the next two days off, but have a few bits and pieces outside of writing to do. So I’m not planning to spend two days working on writing but I’m determined to get back on track.

There’s a whole playlist of my Furry Family members on my YouTube channel now 🙂

For now, I’m wiped out. So I’m going to watch a movie, and aim to be up nice and early tomorrow to get a good start to the day.

Failing Each Day

I fail at writing each day. Literally, I don’t hit the goals I know I can hit. I struggle to not just pop Netflix on and fall into movies or TV series I’ve seen a hundred times before.

I fail daily.

But I endure daily as well. When I don’t write I feel guilt which then pushes me through. Some times it takes a couple of days to get over a slump but I always do.

Each day, no matter how hard the words are fighting me I will get the words out one way or another.

Keep. Fighting. For. That. Dream.

No matter how much you may feel like giving up, don’t. I’ve been writing since my early twenties. At the moment I do feel like a failure because I haven’t achieved more. But I’m learning the reasons why I haven’t gotten more done. I’m also at the point where I feel like I’m ready to take the next step.

If I was true to myself, no matter how much of a failure I can feel at times, I still haven’t quit. If I was going to, o would have done a long time ago.

And I remind myself, I’ve got stories being published in three anthologies this last quarter of the year. It’s been a year where writing has been severely on the back burner at times, and I still have three pieces being released the last part of this year.

Even if you’re just getting rejections, keep going. You will get acceptances as long as you learn your trade, grow and improve.

Never. Give. Up.

Good Morning, Sunday

I’ve had another slow week, but as it came to an end I started feeling more myself than I have done in quite a few weeks. Thursday evening I was feeling a lot better and when I woke up Friday I actually felt energised.

So since then I’ve typed up my notes and order for my FanFiction piece. I’ve got a lot of organising to do with this project. I’m going to put it all into a Scrivener file and see what I need to add to connect the scenes together. I think I’ve got a good foundation, and a lot of what I need to be doing is connecting those scenes and expanding some of the scenes I’ve already written.

I have done some more outlining work on a zombie piece, but I’ve got to the point where I’m not sure what else I need to add to the outline that will be useful, so I’ve not done any work on it for a few days and see if anything shakes loose while I’m working on other pieces.

These last few weeks, okay more like two months now, I haven’t written a single word of fiction. As I said at the start of the post, I’m finally beginning to feel like myself again, and I don’t think I’d realised how unwell I was feeling. It was nothing major, but I think it was just a combination of loosing my Grandad at the end of January and some minor, albeit painful health problems. The last few months I’ve just not been myself. I do think how I crashed and burned on the Penal Earth rewrite I was working on at the start of the year hasn’t helped. About this time last week I thought about writing a short story, just a few thousand words, but I need to get some words down. Now I’m feeling pretty good again I’m going to try and get something done in the next couple of days. I’d just like to get some fresh words written, it’s been far too long since I have done that.

Owen is working his way through The Space Watch, I haven’t had any in-depth feedback so far, aside from a technical query, but I’m not expecting anything too detailed until he’s finished and we sit down and have a look at his notes.

I did finally get a Patreon going, and I’ve supported some podcasters and writers I’ve been following for a few years now. I’m a strong believer in supporting creative people, especially in this day and age when it seems like the arts aren’t being taken seriously, and I’m in a position where I can put a little bit of cash to people I like and respect.

Hopefully this coming week I’ll start moving forward again.

Good Afternoon, Sunday

Well, this last week hasn’t been fun. I’ve got a (tiny) kidney stone, and that’s decided to have given me a huge amount of pain and discomfort this week.

I did go to DemonCon(pictures beneath) last Sunday, and enjoyed myself but I was in a fair bit of pain and that did take the sheen off of the day. I was chuffed with myself that I got over some of my shyness and was able to ask cosplayers if I could take their pictures. All said yes. I really do love Cosplayers. They’ve got so much passion and skill for what they do and it’s great to see. I had some good conversations with a few of the people there as well, which is always good for the soul.

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

This week has been tough. I’ve been working through my days at work and getting home and all but collapsing. It wasn’t until Friday that I started to feel back to my normal self, and today is the first day where I haven’t had any pain at all. (yeah, I’ve probably just jinxed myself there).

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

Writing this week really hasn’t happened. I’ve made a few notes and some outlining details, and have had some good thoughts during the course of the week. I was planning to do some work last night but I was wiped out so I put my feet up, chilled out a little, and aside from writing a blog post I didn’t really do much.

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

Today I have smashed out the red-pen notes of The Space Watch and gotten it sent off to Owen. I’m looking forward to seeing his thoughts and notes on it when he’s read through it.

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

I’m off out for a family meal shortly, so I won’t be doing any more writing stuff tonight. Now that I’ve got The Space Watch off to Owen I’m going to get the final Beta Notes done on my vampire collection.

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

Wiped Out

This past weeked turned out to be a loss for me. I got struck down with a cold which hit me Friday and then really hit me on Saturday. Looking back at being at work on Saturday and then getting home to clean the henhouse out I’m not too sure how I managed to get through the day.

I’d had to cancel mine and Owen’s meeting in the evening and once I had done everything that I needed to do I just got in bed and watched football and later on the heighlights (with the odd Leathal Weapon film inbetween).

Sunday was much the same as Saturday evening. I spent the day watching football programmes as I rode out the worst of the cold bug. I think Saturday was when the bug hit me the hardest, but even now I’m still not feeling my normal self. My head is still feeling fuzzy and I still have a sore throat and I’m feeling very nasally, but I think I’m over the worst of it now.

This probably sounds like I’m whining a little here, and I am a little, but I find being unwell quite frustrating. In almost fifteen years of working fulltime I think I’ve had, maybe, ten days off sick and none because of something as little as a cold.

I know how lucky I am that I don’t get every little bug that comes along or that I have a serious illness that I have to live with, but I often do suffer from head colds and when I do get one it takes it out of me.

What has been the most frustrating is writing has all but stopped again. This year is turning out really badly for writing, it’s not anywhere near where I was expecting it to be at the start of the year. I’ve really got to pull myself out of this hole that I find myself in.

I feel like I’m finding excuses, although I don’t consider the cold an excuse as my brain doesn’t work properly when I’ve got a cold;  but I think I’m too tired, or there’s not enough time in the evenings or I really need to watch that movie I’ve had on Blu-Ray for six months and haven’t watched yet.

I can write during my lunch breaks at work, I can write in the evenings no matter how little time I have avaliable to me. I just need to pull my finger out and get cracking again!