Hi, do you take walk-ins?

I took a trip, it wasn’t a big one. But I drove an hour out of Adelaide to pick up a used camera I had said I’d buy. Nikon D3100 with an 18-55mm lens and an 18-200mm lens so I can take photos of the cricket, and I hated every fucking moment I spent in the Navara. Granted I did get to go on the new Northern Expressway bit at night and see none of it anyway.

When I decided to swap from a sedan to a 4×4 dual cab I thought it might help me change my life up a bit and let me do new things. I’d go to the drive-in and lay in the tray, I’d go down to Moana beach with some friends and for once, I might actually swim in the ocean instead of just walking along with it and taking photos. I might even go away camping with Riss, I’d even spent Two hundred dollars on swag for it. Which has spent two years sitting in my closet. I thought I could pick up timber and build things in the shed too.
First came the fuel consumption issue, then came the engine light issue, then the head unit packed it in and I had no Bluetooth, and the front speakers didn’t work either. The throttle body got replaced, the EGR got replaced, and finally, the engine light issues went away. But it still went through fuel like my nephews go through juice boxes.
Then I noticed the seeping in boots around the suspension. I did my tax and send it off to the accountant and saw that between the parts, travel, insurance and loan repayments I’d spent $7500 on it in a year. That’s the difference between the money I have in savings and having enough for a house deposit.

I was pretty distressed over it, so I figured I’d stick it up for sale once the registration was about to expire. There’s a chance, I’ll get more than I paid for it thanks to Covid. People aren’t buying new cars and a lot are going for 4×4 utes so they can go camping… just like I was going to do. The drive to Nuriootpa was horrible, it was bouncy, wobbly, noisy and just all-around shit to be in the car for that long after a days work. It wasn’t comfortable at all, not to mention it handles like a fucking houseboat.

But I’ve come to resent that car, buying it, but also making me realise my friends are flakey. I’m tired of text messages being replied to in 5-7 business days while they fuck about on social media. Or those who stop contacting you once something “new and shiny” comes into their life. It’s made me realise what a good friend is, and isn’t. A few years back I thought that I would give people my time because to me I time was a valuable thing and they deserved my time and attention. Now I’ve realised, all they did was fucking waste it.

I finally stopped texting first, and it’s amazing how many people don’t talk to you if you don’t start the conversation.

Things are pretty quiet on the social front, social media and friends. Outside of work and my parent’s I haven’t been around anyone since the start of June. My phone sits on the coffee table at night, I don’t message anyone and they don’t message me. I haven’t had anyone to talk to, but does it really matter when they don’t care in the first place to check up on someone they’d consider a friend? Ironically, people tend to change their attitude toward you when you begin treating them the way they treat you. Which is what’s happening, that’s assuming they talk back in the first place. I guess it’s time they put a little more effort into friendship if they still want it, and I’m going to be heard from now on.

I’m not a door mat, I’m a welcome mat.

Would you rather listen to my story or attend my funeral?

I’d consider myself lucky when it comes to the pandemic living in South Australia, as we’re only having our second lockdown. A proper one anyway, the pizza guy doesn’t count because he lied and never had COVID.

But 3/4 the way through a week-long lockdown, I’ve struggled more this time around than before, and not because of the lockdown itself, and not being able to go out. I’ve had to go out for work a couple of times, and also to go see my dog. I took a bit of time after to go for a peaceful drive in the hills where no one was around or could get spotted. Ironically, there was a bloke walking along a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.

But I’ve struggled with, lack of human contact. Outside of work and my parents I’ve not been near anyone for two months up until it was Marissa’s birthday, which was a trip to see Space Jam 2.
While I had the best time with Tink, it’s only ever a band-aid fix for how I feel. She’s always good fun, she rushed in late wearing those viral TikTok leggings I got her for shits and giggles. I didn’t think she would wear them let along out in public, she must want to cause a riot with her ass in public, in her Lola Looney Toons jersey and pink hair. I wouldn’t have her any other way though, it’s her extension of personality that rubs off onto the boys making them lunatics too that make me laugh and smile.
It’s also super adorable watching her trying to get her feet on the seat in front like a small child, and her tiny feet.

But the contact from people has come in ebbs and flows, I’ve realised if I finally stop texting first it’s amazing how many people don’t talk if you don’t start the conversation. I guess that’s the difference between myself and other people, and I think these are the types of people who don’t realise the greatest give they can give is to simply include me in something.

The difference between now and a year ago, is I would have been dealing with both anxiety and depression. When I think about it, to me anxiety is the thing that makes you do drastic responses and irrational behaviour. But it has to be coupled with depression for it to do that. If something goes wrong the reaction might be alcohol or drugs, some form of self-harm to escape as quickly as possible. But now it feels like that’s worn off and all I’m left with is depression.

I feel no motivation to do anything anymore or care about people who don’t contact me. I’ve given up trying to organise things or catch up with people. I mean, why bother? They just don’t reply or told they are too busy to consider you worth your time.
But when you start treating people the same way they treat you, watch how they change. They become more proactive in organising things with you, getting in touch with you and seeing what you’re doing. You might react and change your plans because you’ll feel better when they give you attention. But when you start putting them off because you’ve made other plans or just don’t want to. Their behaviour changes even further, because now they know what it’s like not to feel like a priority.

I just wish people would be honest and forthcoming, and either make the effort or exit stage left and leave me to my own. Time for new friends? Or to get a bit more asshole-ish and call them on their behaviour?

But all this boils down to one thing that does bug me, I have no one to talk to. Much like the last post on here, I get talked over, ignored and left on “read”. No one’s here for me anymore to listen to me when I need it. So instead I sit here every night writing letters to ghosts, wondering how much more time I have left.

 

 

No one cares about your depression, until you’re dead.

Life has a way of getting to you, one way or another.

It’s certainly getting to me these days, and sometimes just when I think things are looking up. Life says “hold my beer”.

 

I once had a friend who said to me “no one cares about your depression, until you’re dead”. She was right, but she was also one who didn’t have enough emotional depth to understand what depression was like either. You could try and explain it and only reply with “you’ll just have to change that”. Thanks, I’m cured.

Trying to deal with depression isn’t easy, it doesn’t matter how blunt you are in telling someone how you feel, they inevitably will show that they don’t care. There won’t be help anymore, and the odds of them ever seeing the signs that suffering are pretty slim, even then, they’ll just ignore them.

This kind of treatment to those who are suffering is what makes it worse, a lack of recognition. The symptoms start to compound themselves.

At the moment, I currently feel like I’m walking around floating six inches off the ground, and people look right through me instead of at me. Like I no longer exist. They talk over me and suffocate me into silence.

These are the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with internally, and the simplest fix, at least to me. Is a hug, I literally feel like a helium balloon being dragged back down when given a hug by someone that I have some sort of connection with.

I struggle that I cannot see into the future any further that what my calendar appointments are for work.

Once again, I suffer in silence. Getting closer and closer to that point every day, and don’t see myself going a step back.

I continue to feel myself disassociate daily and I’m not sure at what point I’ll be able to come back down to Earth.

I have the only thing on my mind daily that feels like it’ll make a difference, and they are out of reach regardless of how much I stretch.

If there’s wind in your sales…

The government will tax you on that too.

 

Australia “a nation of hard-working individuals”. We’ve heard that a lot haven’t we? How hard Australians work.

In the modern era, we have to. In the earlier years when Australia was still booming, people worked hard because they wanted to.  To get the things they wanted with money they had earned.

 

We work hard now to have a comfortable life because we have to, but we do that because Australia, and mostly the government look like they took advantage of that hard work ethic Australia is known for and used to build a system that is full of corrupt, money-hungry individuals. A System that in its current state feels like it is only set up so those who are already rich, can get richer without needing to lift a finger, and for those who are hardworking. Work even harder just to get by. It’s a system set up to fail those that need it the most.

 

When I was 6 years old, my parents had divorced. My dad and I lived in a car and had only the clothes on our backs. I lived in caravans, couch surfed, stayed in peoples spare rooms for years until finally, we had our own rental. Even then, we still had to work hard. Clothes and furniture came from places like St Vincent De Paul’s and the Salvation Army. 

Between now and then, there’s been more rentals with my Dad and then on my own. Decisions I’ve had to make that no one at their age should have to make.

But at the age of 38, I finally felt like I could afford to buy a house, or build one. Given the government had a lot of grants available to help boost the housing industry and keep tradies in work.

The first thing for me was to see how much I could borrow, and if I could make payments, and also in the event of losing my job or an accident I was covered. I started looking into managing my money better by getting the 2020 updated version of Barefoot Investor. I changed banks, set up accounts for places for money to go. I looked into my superannuation because it can come with income protection and life insurance. Check and check.

I looked into building companies, house and land packages, places to build. I spoke to friends in the industry on things to look for when building, things that can go wrong. I looked at several display homes in different places and spoke to a lot of people.

And I came to the conclusion that the housing industry is just corrupt and full of bullshit, with peoples hands in each others pockets. That in no way benefits anyone who is trying to get a house.

When I got a bit closer and I looked at more plans and lots of land, I stopped into a builder and asked some questions. I knew what I wanted in my head, a 12.5m wide block that would allow me to have 3 bedrooms, living, study or second living room, and a double car garage. After going through the process of picking a floor plan, adding in the requirements, it blew my budget well out of the water. I knew there would be hidden costs, but there just seems to be a lot more that you never hear about, and most of it is pointless bullshit.

So I cut my size down, the larger the block of land the more costs. So down to a 10m wide frontage, which drops the price by $25,000, and down to 1 car garage. Still, I struggled to get it under the budget for a tiny place with no yard. I only came in under budget because I had to remove the air conditioning unit.

But there was all these extras, because it was inside an estate you have to choose a facade from the ones that are approved. But for some reason the basic one couldn’t be used at $0 extra. So bang, add on $3500, need some cupboards in your laundry to go along with that sink? Bang $800. Want to have solar panels? Bang, $600 to reinforce the roof so they don’t get ripped off during a strong wind. But wait, there’s the recycled water that has to be connected, NBN to go in costs another $1400. But wait, there’s more! Because it’s an estate they have other requirements, like that the roof gable is a 25 degree angle and not 22 like most, so this adds more costs into the house. It adds up, and continues to add up until you walk out, just like I did. Feeling flat and depressed.

It hit pretty hard for a few days that it’s just not a great idea to build a house, it’s more expensive than buying one. So I spent a couple days wallowing around with the feeling that I’m not going to go anywhere, or have a place to call my own. Until I started looking at already established houses.

After looking, if my budget is right I can look at something on twice the landsize with plenty of bedrooms, living area and garaging. I’m hoping I can get that far, as I’d like to get away from renting and have my own place.

An idle mind is the devils workshop

Reflect peoples attitude and behaviour back at them, and watch how they change. Or something like that. I saw a quote similar to that but I didn’t save or screenshot and I’ve never been able to find it since. Carpe diem next time I see shit like that.

I guess that’s the view I’ve taken my few on friends and whatnot over time. Tired of feeling like a pitstop, a counsellor to them with their issues. Only talking to me when they need it, getting help when it suits them. I’ve gotten tired of peoples behaviour, especially towards myself.

The one’s who will complain about never getting a text back from someone, but never reply to me. The one’s who show no interest in hanging out, or no time for me. But have plenty of time for anyone else. So when I start to close myself off to them and they get less attention, it’s like a rubber band. They come flying back and want to catch up, want to talk about things. But I know it’s just another temporary step.

I guess this all comes from having a lot of time to myself, plenty to think about when you’re alone. But I guess that’s why I try to fill my time with several projects, the database, the app, the magic mirror, the woodwork builds in the shed, various websites. So long as I don’t leave my mind idle I can distract myself from them, and when I’m doing those things or have it planned I don’t put it off because someone’s returned to contact and want me to jump once they want to do something. I guess it’s better to be productive at something rather than do nothing at all.

Father Time

I guess time will catch up with us at any stage, I knew it would come eventually. Just a matter of, when?

I always knew that since being diagnosed with chronic illness things would eventually catch up and I’d slow down.

Cricket has always been a game that I’ve loved, and also hated. It taught me a lot, patience and pain, it’s like a cruel mistress. It’ll teach you about all the things you shouldn’t have done, every mistake and slip.

After finishing a season of cricket in 2018, I figured I was done but might try one more year. Summer 2018 rolled around and I started training, only to hurt my back and missed the majority of the first half of the season, I filled in one game to field and help the guys out. I had the taste for it again, while the days were long, hot and very tiring. Most of the time you’d be let down in some form, but other times you can end up with victory.

It wasn’t until I played a game shortly in the second half of the season, where I filled in as captain when I realised I’d be calling time on playing cricket ever again. While we won the game, the first for the guys in the season, hard fought and earned, and it was my first and only win ever as a captain. Standing in the outfield on a hot day, my body was calling it time, and we were both to an agreement that any games would no longer happen. Either from an illness, repeated injuries or lack of desire to play the game.

I still enjoy watching it, especially the long format.

Untitled Brain Splat

You know it’s been a while since you’ve blogged when you can feel the dust on your keyboard, and also that you get to smell it from burning inside your heater when you switch it on.

I don’t think there’s much structure to this post or any purpose. Other than to just dribble a little bit. It’s probably matching how my life feels currently. I’ve felt particularly overwhelmed, and I’m not entirely sure what or why, a combination of things perhaps?

I feel like I’m in search of some normalcy at the moment, work is overly busy and stressful, and demanding. My health has not been fantastic, my back is worse than ever, I’m back with regular tests on my parathyroid, dealing with my mental health. Then there’s the usual money problems, girl problems, car problems, and the list goes on. I’m trying to stay afloat, and some times it doesn’t just seem to stay there. It’s up and down and lately feeling like I’m sinking. But I can’t seem to find anything that I can cut out that’ll help me, and no one else around to really help me either.

I’m dealing with an internal identity crisis, and also what do I want in life? I ponder that a lot. But it’s always different each time. This time around it feels like a lot more factors are influencing what I want. It’s confusing, and also has my emotions all over the place. What do I do? I don’t really know anymore.

I feel tired, worn out, sore, stressed, overwhelmed, confused and exhausted.

Railway tracks

I’ve had a small break from writing any blog posts, and other things with my writing prompts about my past, present and future. I’m still on the same train tracks going in the same direction, but I’ve just diverted slightly to focus on some other things.

Mainly being cleaning up the junk around the house, I’m having a second wave of throwing things out. Which has also shifted towards the shed as well. I’ve had a fridge and freezer cleanout, pantry, and just general things around the house because I think I’ve accumulated too much stuff again that just hangs around. I’m also trying to organise a bit more.

I’ve been through the garage and sorted, organised, tossed out and done a few various other things. I’ve had some modifications done to my workbench, and also have some more on the way so that I can start using it a bit more, and fill in my Saturdays come Spring and Summer when I won’t be playing cricket.

I’ve been measuring up things to be replaced in the house like the coffee table, entertainment unit and my desk. I’ve also thought about other smaller projects I can do, some just to get back into the groove or making joints etc that I’ll use in my projects. I’ve been watching woodworking classes and live streams online youtube also.

I’ve done a bit of winter-proofing of the house, some curtains up to trap cold air, and seals around doors to keep draughts out. I’m also trying to sort out all those little bits of crap I have laying around, like spare keys, phone cases I didn’t like, random bits of electronics as well.

I’m here, just diverting myself away from the screens a bit, which also includes a lot of trips to Bunnings to buy things for my workbench.

My mental health hasn’t been all that fantastic either, still trying to sort out things in my head. Posts might be a little less while I spend my time typing in another piece of software.

Do you have a moment to talk about triggers?

I’ve struggled to even put “two hundred crappy a day” down lately, I know there are things for me to write about. But concentration hasn’t been fantastic for a few months. The migraines and fogginess have certainly been in full force.

But I want to talk about triggers, I’ve been on the receiving end of them, and also caused some of them. The latter made me think about my mental health, and how it affects/affected others in my life. I remember a few years back when I had a break up with someone I stopped caring, and I think that was also probably the time when depression was given a kick and I started on a slow and steady decline.

My mental health took a blow, and it wasn’t pretty. I stopped tidying my house, I stopped cleaning my house, I barely ate. The worst thing that happened though was my weekly once or twice trip to the pub became a five to six night a week. I was drinking a lot, not to the state of blackout drunk. But enough that I was over the limit and still driving home.

I started to feel ill quite often, my stomach would feel horrible. I still kept going, my mental health was going downward until I reached a point where I couldn’t keep feeling like I was and stopped. But it also occurred to me, that wasn’t the worst thing that happened.

The worst thing was that no one stopped me, no one pulled me aside, no one asked how I was going. I just kept going to the pub, drinking, and going home.

Then earlier this year, I made a mountain out of a molehill with something that shouldn’t have concerned me in the first place. With someone drinking at 10am, but also someone who had battled a bit of a drinking problem when their mental health took a beating, and then when I thought about it a bit more. I had quite a few people I have cared about who have had a drinking problem and done the same thing.

I guess the point I’m making here is I cared about them enough that it made me angry about them having a drink early in the morning, rather than just drinking to get drunk, for celebration. But that I wasn’t able to express why it made me like that, and now I regret what happened.

We can’t just jump in a time machine and go back, unfortunately, but I do wish I’d never said anything and everything would still be good. But also at the time, I was going through a mental battle and keeping a lot of it hidden because I didn’t want to upset people. It feels like it was a subconscious trigger at the time, and while I did my best to try and explain it I never got the chance fully.

I’m not really sure what else to write on it, there’s still a lot on my mind. But I do miss someone deeply for my actions.

Cold, Creamy, Sugary Buffalo Theory

I won’t be talking about the Buffalo Theory from a Cheers episode, where Norm gives you a good logical reason to see why you can be smarter after drinking alcohol and killing a few brain cells, but do yourself a favour and look it up, it’s hilarious.

I’ll confess, I’m a bit of a fan of Elementary. A modern take on Sherlock Holmes, except that he’s a recovering drug addict, covered in tattoos, rather eccentric and Watson is played by a female and named Jane. Jane is essentially Sherlocks “sober companion”, a live-in at his house to make sure he doesn’t relapse into using drugs again, and the same thing happens for people who are recovering alcoholics.

It’s great to have someone to lean on and for advice when times get tough.

I was having a chat with a friend a few weeks back, and it has been something that has hovered in my head for some time. There’s a “sober companion” for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. But what about those of us in a recovery stage with a mental illness or mental health issue?

For some of us who’ve been down the rabbit hole of depression, there are times where you struggle to function and you’re blind to anything going on. It’s a certain form of tunnel vision. You don’t necessarily forget something, it’s more than you’re in such a state that you’re ignoring things. You ignore eating, you ignore doing the dishes, cleaning your house. You ignore going to the doctor when you should need it, you don’t do all the usual things you need to. The amount of times I’ve not wanted to go to the hospital or for X-rays and ultrasounds while feeling depressed is pretty high. But going with someone else would have been a blessing.

What would it be like if we had someone who was a “Recovery companion”? Someone who will head out with you while you do your grocery shopping, doctors appointments, meal preps, tidy your house and just give some normalcy to your life when it’s not normal at all.

From a personal view, I don’t think I’d want someone to be a “recovery companion” who hasn’t dealt with a mental health issue of some sort, and they are that happy-go-lucky type and are constantly positive. It’s more than likely going to just piss me off, you’d need someone who has compassion and understanding, and is able to know what the person is going through. Just telling someone who is in a bout of heavy depression to “just change how you think” makes me think of those “thanks, I’m cured” memes.

I have a great analogy for depression between those who’ve had it and understand it, and those who don’t. I can’t remember if I’ve heard it somewhere and I’m regurgitating it, or it’s something that’s come to my thoughts on my own. But either way, it seems to be relevant.

Telling someone not to be depressed is like telling someone ice cream tastes good, a depressed person knows it tastes good but the act of getting ice cream is the hardest thing on the planet. Instead, sometimes you just need someone to throw you in the car and take you out for ice cream to remind you it is good, and there are people around that understand your situation.