Browsing Tag

chronic illness

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.

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.

O’ father, where art thou?

When people take a look at me, I think my biggest fear is the last thing they would ever think if they had to go through a list of them. Someone standing over six feet and broad shoulders, just like all of my Uncles who were in the Black Watch in Scotland. We’ve never been short people.

But to see a grown adult male completely freeze up out of terror, and unable to spit a word out just from standing in front of a toddler isn’t something you would see every day, or see in your lifetime more than likely.

The first person to ever really notice I was terrified of children was Marissa, and that was the day I met Seth. I didn’t know back that, but that little pizza-eating dude would change my life, along with a little help from my friend.

To fully describe what it’s like to be terrified of something that will literally not hurt you might be a hard one to explain. But it really comes down to two things.

I would say I’m heavy-footed and don’t really know my own strength and I’m afraid I could knock them over and hurt them or something, and I don’t really want that.

I think the other is going to be harder to get into words. So I guess I’ll use an analogy for worst case scenario.

If I were to be in a public place, like a park or a cafe and to smile or pull a funny face at a kid just to make them laugh, I hope that’s all the parents around were to see it as. If they were to give me some kind of look or scold me for having some fun, and take it the wrong way I think it would reverse all the work that’s been done to get me where I am in terms of being around kids.

Marissa put a lot of trust in me to be able to interact with Seth and get comfortable around him, Seth’s always been pretty wise for his age. Which is why I’ve always called him the “little Buddha”, and I sensed he know I was awkward around him even at his very young age. Now he’s my dude, we get along great.

It stepped up a gear when Riss told me she was pregnant, I had to go outside the office and cry. Out of happiness for her mostly, but also that I get another kids I can bond with from a younger age. That sort of newborn age terrified me still. Nine months later there was Eli, who I’ve had a ball with. Picking him up and zooming him around the lounge room like Superman and chasing Seth doing it. I have a lot of fun with the boys.

I recently turned 37, and after a bit of thinking and a few things that have happened recently I can probably say that I want to have kids of my own. I just don’t want to be a father, anyone can father a child. But I want to be a Dad, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be a great one. But I’ll sure as hell try, and I’ll be terrified most of the time, but I know eventually I’ll settle on the idea and it’ll become second nature to me.

I want my mornings filled with cartoons and pancakes, and laughter. Not because I feel like it’s too late, but I’m finally feeling like I’ll be comfortable with the majority of it.

Nanna Matt

“I’m not a doormat, I’m a welcome Matt.” – MJM

My Nanna always had this saying, I’m not a doormat, I’m a welcome Matt. I guess it came down to the fact she was friendly but not to be taken advantage of and walked over. I wish I had some of that in me, I’m still learning about not being walked over and used by people.

I’ve had several memories pop back in my head over the past 12 months from other people in my life. I do miss my grandmother, she essentially raised me on a part time basis. I used to take a trip from Victor Harbour to the City (Edwardstown to be exact) once or twice a month, via the bus, and stay at her house on a weekend.

She lived in one of those red brick housing trust places. While the house has been levelled I can still remember it like it was yesterday. The royal red shag pile carpet in the lounge room, the kerosene heater that was in front of the fireplace. The retro lino and the laminex kitchen table to go with it.

On the warm summer nights I used to lay on her bed next to her under the window, and she’d tell me all sorts of stories. How when people turned 100 they’d get a letter from the Queen. Although she never quite made it to get one herself. How when they used to go to the cinema as a girl, and you wouldn’t just see a movie. You’d get news and all sorts of other things, all of it being fictional, like going to the moon. When eventually became a reality which she got to witness. She got to see some amazing feats, but also had to endure two world wars, the great depression and a handful of other smaller wars as well.

My Nan always had a fantastic sense of humour too, never crude. But quick witted. When I was a teenager around 16 or so she started nicknaming me “Creepin’ Jesus”. Someone of my stature who made no noise, and still don’t do this day, when they walk around. Later in life she lived with us as her age was getting on, down in Victor. She would be making a cup of tea and I would come out from being asleep and scare her because I’d be standing next to her and she wouldn’t have heard me coming, “jesus”. It happens now even with clients at work. Maybe I could have been a cat-burglar given how quiet I am! 

I do miss her a great deal, I think she was always wise when it came to life. I didn’t see it back then but I certainly see it now. There are times where I wish I was able to go and ask her for advice, but unfortunately I can’t anymore, and it’s been a long time since I spoke to her. I always struggled when it came to seeing her, after her stroke I think I wanted to preserve the memory of how great she was, and all those stories she told me. Rather than to see a frail woman in a nursing home who’s stuck between the 1940’s and 1990’s on a frequent basis.

Last year would have been her 100th birthday too.

Oh punishment, punishment

I’ve had another epiphany, or realisation, or maybe it’s just a reflection like usual.

I’ve had two people recently who have stepped in and out my life on a frequent basis. I’ve head to deal with some fairly heavy mental health issues, and considering my past. It’s probably the worst ones I’ve had, it’s required additional professional health in the form of a psychologist on top of my usual counsellor, and also medication to give myself some stability.

Whilst wallowing around inside this emotional abyss, I wasn’t entirely aware of what was going on around me. I wasn’t aware I was upsetting people with my behaviour, I know I said some upsetting things. They were meant in jest, and that some people knew what was going on in the first place. I guess some assumption.

Because one of them has exited my life, and it’s left me heartbroken. I feel like I’m being punished for someone that I am not. I never felt quite right for a while, in the long perspective of it. I don’t think I’d felt great since late 2017. I was down a lot, and it was a steady decline for quite some time, and then eventually just crashed and burned.

It doesn’t feel great for someone to abandon you, especially when you think the world of them and always think they’ll be there to support you. That’s why it feels like I’m being pushed indirectly, I know they need to do what’s good for them and I understand that. But it doesn’t change how I feel.

I’ve had someone else, who seems to come in and out of my life when it suits them. Dancing back and forth between them calling it a friendship and indication they want something more. It was hard to make contact with this person because of this, and also because of my mental health. I was always told by them to “take care” and “you do you”. When I try to do this I get spoken down too, which is ironic because they said I had spoken down to them like others had and they didn’t want that anymore, and they simply said “I’m done”, and I thought they were until I got a Happy Birthday message the day after my birthday, a day late because they didn’t want to “overstep”. Only for minutes later to be spoken down to again, something they didn’t like.

It’s hard to be able to stand up for yourself sometimes, I don’t feel like I deserved it. But I also know they are a sensitive person. While I was trying to look after my mental health and get myself into a half decent place, they were struggling with their own health. Again, when we made contact I had words put into my mouth, that I didn’t care about them. They were hostile towards me, and even when I’ve tried to be nice, they’ve continued to be. Once again, I feel like I’m being punished for looking after myself, something they said I should be doing. It’s confusing, and I know they have their own mental health issues as well, which makes it all the more confusing. Are they like this because of their mental health? or are they in a clear mind and actually angry at me? When I don’t feel like I’ve done anything wrong in the first place.

I still am struggling, trying to find the empathy I had towards other people, while trying to find the energy and care towards myself. It’s not easy, and I don’t think it is going to happen overnight.

Serenity Now!

I feel like an episode of Seinfeld at times. I need to yell “Serenity Now!” at the top of my lungs.

I’m wandering around the house tidying up because my parents are coming over, I don’t usually invite them over. Why? Because they are offensive, judgemental, and don’t keep comments to themselves.

I think last time I invited them over I was annoyed about why they needed to discuss with me for an hour about why I don’t have many pictures on my walls. Because I don’t want them? And how does this have any impact on them? It’s not their house and they are not here every day. Not only that, I don’t notice my walls when I’m walking around the house. It’s not an art gallery. Maybe it should be with some of my photos.

Since I’d invited them over, there’s been constant questions about what’s going on. Dad asked on Thursday, and Friday about what to do if they were pulled over by the police for non-essential travel. Given the fact that there are cars fucking everywhere still and people doing non-essential travel. But I had to remind dad that they can simply say they are coming to check on me as I have a chronic illness.

And again this morning while walking around the house thinking about it, they ring me and ask me for the third day in a row the same questions. Also that they are bringing dessert for after lunch, when I told them I’d sorted it, they still went ahead and did it anyway.

So I am essentially “panic tidying” my place so that they can’t see anything they can point at and start criticising me about. “Why is that there?” “What do you have that for?” “Why don’t you do this?”.

Wooooossaaaaaaa… serenity now.

Writely writerer

I think everyone spends a lot of time looking for the perfect writing tool, suiting their needs. Something that’s fast, functional, distraction-free and you can use it anywhere. WordPress is free and great for blogs, I can type into a post anywhere I want. But I do find the clutter surrounding the text box a bit distracting. Despite it having a full-screen mode it’s still not quite what I’m after.

Some people still stick to trusty old Microsoft Word, but to be honest. Word doesn’t feel like a good writing tool, for just putting text into something it’s a heavy program with a lot of clutter.

I had a look around at free apps and web-based software for it, tried a few but none really seemed to fit. I recently upgraded my desktop PC’s internal drive to something faster and larger storage. But I ended up having to reinstall windows, which is well overdue given the bugs I have with it on a regular basis, and crap everywhere across several drives. But while reinstalling I was asked to reactivate the Grammarly extension in Google Chrome, which when logging into their website reminded me that they have an app for Windows and Mac that is very basic and clutter-free. For writing stuff in, it’s ticking the boxes. I’ve installed it on my desktop PC, and my laptop, and I’ll try it out on the Mac soon enough.

Hopefully, I can use some of my time creatively and just writing about general bullshit that I don’t want to go online or have anyone read. I’d say we’re all going to have more time up our sleeves during the pandemic and needing hobbies to keep us busy.