Good Morning, 8th Of September 2022

Howdy, folks! How are we all doing?

Yesterday I edited 10503 words and wrote 141 words. I did the 141 while waiting for my car to be MOT’d, trying to make some use of time that is presented to me. The 10k of edited had kind of burnt my brain out though, so although I got some words down I’d like to have got closer to that 200 words in that time period.

This morning I’ve edited 6149 words and was going to start on the next episode but if I do that then I’ll not get any housekeeping done afterwards. I’ve got a number of little bits and pieces that although not urgent, do need doing.

I got up an hour and a half earlier than I was planning to, so I’m ahead of where I was expecting to be by this time. I’m trying to remap my sleep patterns, and a big part of that is getting to bed earlier. My day job tends to have a 6am start time so I’d like to get to the point where I’m getting more sleep in general at night and not have to rely on naps to keep my energy levels high. I also want to be getting better sleep. Although last night was a little interrupted a few times it did feel like a decent nights sleep.

Having a decent nights sleep helps with mental health as well. Lack of sleep, for me at least, is a big reason why I can be more susceptible to feeling down. When I’ve got a decent amount of sleep I also feel a lot more productive and able to work in the manner I want to.

I’m going to be working for another hour or so, and I’d like to get a bit more editing done as well. Let’s see how much my brain can take before it checks out for the day!

Good Evening, 8th June 2022

Good evening, folks. How are we all?

I have had a productive morning. I did a wee bit of tidying and rearranging before getting stuck into writing today. I managed 1023 words on typing up a short story that I wrote a few months ago. This afternoon I had a nap. I’ve got an early tomorrow and I never sleep well when I’ve got an early, so I’ve found that nap during the afternoon to be essential.

I posted a new flash fiction piece to my Ko-Fi tonight, please support and check it out if you’d like to.

There’s been a lot changing in my life recently, one of which is that my mental health medication was increased. I’ve been on medication for anxiety and depression for a couple of years now and with this adjustment it feels like the dosage is right.

That’s not the only element that has helped, I’ve been working on listening to my body. Whether it’s about how I feel after eating certain foods, or how something makes me feel. What the increased dosage of my medication has done is shut down the anxiety better than anything I’ve ever tried before. I was working out in our garden a few weeks ago, taking down an old shed that has long been past its use. We’re hoping to repurpose some of the sides of it, but it needed to come down. Half of the roof had collapsed and it needed to come down. As I was taking it down though I was feeling good about the task. I wasn’t hesitating in how to take it down, I was even thinking about how to make use of the space. After a good few hours of work I took a break, sat down, had a drink. I was also texting a dear friend who I was talking to about what I’d done that morning, when it struck me that I wasn’t anxious. I wasn’t questioning myself in any way. I actually broke down, began crying and text my friend ‘Is this what life is meant to be like?’ she called me and said, quite simply ‘Yes’. We then talked about it, as I cried. So many fucking years living scared of the world. Some days I was fine and did enjoy life, but these were few and far between. Most days I was anxious to leave the house, mainly doing so because I had a job (that I told myself I loved, but in truth I hated it). There was so much I wanted to see and do in the world, but I was too scared too. Twenty, twenty-five years of my life gone. That day as I was sitting in my back garden talking to my friend I cried with a sort of relief at finally feeling free of the prison that my mind had put me in, but also at anger of having let myself be in that prison for most of my life.

Raven investigating my work

Male suicide rates are significantly higher than that of women. Here’s some numbers from the Samaritans. And yes, I was suicidal on a couple of occasions (Not anymore though). There is so much more to what I put myself through over my life, but I’m not going into it here, not now. Partly because I haven’t figured it all out yet. When I mention non-fiction that’s what I’m talking about. Trying to break down the why of this all. I’m slowly getting there, I’ve had some counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that has helped immensely. I’ve also opened up with my loved ones. Instead of hiding my problems, thinking it’s better not to worry them, that’s bollocks as well. Being open and honest with what I’m going through has made it easier to work through all of this. Having that support, that I’ve always known is there, has been priceless.

Ask for help, Mental Health in this country needs a major overhaul and we as a society need better education on the subject. But there are resources out there. Speak to your GP, Google mental health hotlines, there are plenty of organisations, charities, out there who are able to help. Yes there are waiting times, yes it is hard to admit to needing help. Trust me though, it’s worth it.

I still have bad days (I took a big self-esteem hit recently), but they don’t last as long and I’m able to manage my moods so much better. I listen to my body, mind, and soul. Trust me, it’s paying off. I’m happier now than I have ever been, shit, I can’t ever remember feeling this settled and capable. There’s a lot playing into that, but we need to be open to seeing it. To appreciating what we have, to loving what we have.

A self-esteem hit knocked me hard but it doesn’t now last long because I know how to rebuild myself with the help of loved ones and all that I’ve learnt.

Okay, this became a much heavier post than I was expecting it to. But too many people out there are struggling with mental health. And the amount of men who are struggling that don’t seek help because it is not what ‘men do’ is costing too many lives.

Life is amazing when we get out of our own way. From a writing point of view, I’ve been more productive in the last few months than I feel I have ever been. See, brought it back to writing.

“I’m always good, me,”

I work at a supermarket and when I’m not on the shop floor I’m on a till. When customers ask me how I am I more often than not I’ll reply with “I’m alright, I’m always good me,”

Even when I’m not okay I say it, and I’ve been thinking about this and the mindset I’ve got growing of seeing the best in life despite what I’m feeling. There are times when I’m feeling down and not as positive as I’d like to be but I still say it.

Some of that is the ‘faking it ’til I make it’ mentality. But what I’m not doing is ignoring what I’m feeling. I’m listening to my body, looking at why I’m feeling like that. This is what I’m doing for all my moods. The more I know and understand what’s going on inside of me; mind, body, soul, the lot. Then I’m going to be able to draw myself to the elements that give me the most positive experience of life.

The biggest element that I’ve noticed which affects my mental health is tiredness. So, that is one of the major parts I’m focussing on improving. I’ve started adjusting my sleep patterns a little, but I think there’s a lot I’ve got to suss out with it. At the moment I’m focussed on getting my head down earlier on nights where I have early shifts. I’m also watching my intake as the day progresses. Definitely no energy drinks after about 3pm, as little sugary snacks after about 7pm (this one I think might be a little harder). I’m trying to wind down my head a little bit as the evening progresses as well. A little less proactive mind, and a little more passive input. Movies, TV, books etc. Gaming does relax me, as does writing and blogging, but those are both pastimes that require proactive thought. Other things are more passive. I can let them enter my mind without them firing up my creative mind too much. Something proactive makes me alert, brains firing and it’s harder to let my mind rest.

Getting good sleep makes all the difficulties of life easier to manage. It makes the fog less thick.

Good Morning! 14th December 2021

This blog post comes to you from a man who isn’t dead tired!

Where I’ve had lots going on recently I’ve not been getting much sleep, and the sleep I have been getting isn’t good sleep. Last night though I was gaming and crashed a car because I nodded off briefly (which in real life can be disastrous). And I decided to get an early night. I was in bed a little after eight with The Simpsons on (something that lets me shut off the constant stream of consciousness, but also something that if I miss any of it I’m not going to loose out on a plot point), and got me head down.

I’m not sure what time I nodded off but I woke up about ten or so and turned off the TV and the next time I woke up was when Max barked his head off and I went down to see what had alerted him (I think it was a fox or something). That was about three this morning. I went back to sleep for forty-five minutes or so and got up when my alarm went off at four.

And you know what, I feel pretty awake today. That’s the first time I’ve tried doing that and I’ve managed to sleep. When I’ve tried early nights before they just haven’t worked.

So today, let’s rock and roll!

Guard dog extraordinaire

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 😕

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!

24/8/21

Evening, folks!

How are we all doing this evening?

Not a big writing day, about a 1000 words split about 50/50 between Mermaid and Lovers.

Right now I’m ending the day with a movie and then bed. I’m trying to adjust my evenings a little so I can get some better sleep.

Night folks, and rock on!

Tonight’s movie ☺️ recommended by a very dear friend which has become a favourite ☺️

Good Morning, 21st of August 2021

Good morning all! How are we all doing today? I am out of bed but my eyelids don’t agree with this decision and are trying to shut!

I’m sure once I’ve had a cuppa tea I’ll be a lot more awake….I hope!

I’ve got a busy day away from writing today so I’m going to try and get a decent hit done this morning. I’ve always found that when I’ve got writing done first thing the rest of the day flows much easier. I think it’s because I’ve achieved something already and that gives me a pretty decent buzz.

I’m still working on mermaid but I’m kinda getting that itch to work on something else. Despite being at the point in mermaid where I’ve gone past where the short story ended I’m just feeling like I need to play with something else. I’m not sure if I want to fight that or not. I think working on something else as I’m writing mermaid isn’t a bad idea. It’s something I’ve done before and I find it quite easy as a rule.

I’ll admit, I’m feeling very tired this morning. I didn’t sleep well and had planned to be out of be by about 8am but my body got me up at about 7ish and I would have liked that extra hour. I’ve already looked at mermaid this morning but couldn’t get my brain going. So I came here to get a blog post out in the hope it’ll help me push through the fog my head seems to be wrapped in because of the lack of sleep. But we’ll see.

Or I’ll just go back to bed for another hour!

Good Morning, 25th July 2021

A very early good morning from here in the UK. Seeing as I couldn’t sleep I thought I’d be productive and get a few words down. I’m also hoping it all wipes me out and once this post is written and I put my head down I drift off easily.

I have written 1111 words on a short story about a serial killer. I feel the story is going well, although I’m not really sure where it’s going. I’m letting the story tell me where it wants to go, which is a little frustrating but also quite fun.

When the sun is up I’ve got some beta readers notes to look at and then I’ll be doing the out loud red pen pass on Penal Earth. I’m going to set myself an easy target, maybe ten pages. I may do more, depending on how I feel and how my voice holds out.

Right, I’m going to try and sleep! I hope everyone reading this is having a fantastic weekend!

Good Morning, 12th of July 2021

Good morning folks! Last night the England men’s football team played a 120 minutes and then penalties in our first final appearance since the year we won the World Cup in 1966. This wasn’t the World Cup but a European Championships and in the end it ended in heartbreak. I just want to take a mi it’s here to say how proud I am of our team. We stepped up at the time we needed to and going into the World Cup qualifiers I think we’ve got a lot to be excited for. I will just congratulate Italy on their win, but don’t get too comfy with that trophy, we’ll be coming back for it in 2024.

That’s enough about football. Yesterday was a low impact writing day. I’m not sure how today will play out writing wise. Although I slept lat night it took time for me to drop off and then I had a very unsettled nights sleep. So I’m feeling rather wiped out right now.

I would like to get a chapter edited on the vampire book, which feels a little daunting as I know the chapters from here on out only get bigger! But, I’ll see how I am after work.

I love driving in the rain (picture taken when I parked)!