How are you feeling ?

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techniques
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by techniques » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:11 pm

I feel in control, after months of being in a slump!

My career shit the bed with Covid(the business and the day job both involved crowds.)

I was fortunate enough to find a key worker position, that pays in 10 days what I was making in a weekend.
I still felt helpless/angry/depressed/lonely from March - August, Then they reopened gyms.

Please, please, please - if you are in a dark place and do not exercise, start. It might just save your life.
Exercise doesn't mean turn into Rocky. It means get on the treadmill for 20mins/go for a walk/light jog - something to get the blood pumping and get you breaking a sweat and breathing heavily.

It will do wonders for your mood! These days, whenever I feel myself sinking back into that slump, I know I've skipped too many days and it's time to break a sweat.

That, and my new obsession with motorcycles and researching every night looking for my first big bike - I feel like a kid at Christmas, It's not only keeping me going, but excited for life and the future, in the middle of all this. Opening the throttle on that MT-07 for the first time during my DAS last month is a highlight of my year. I had planned to do it in April, but there was something special about doing it post lockdown. The feeling of ultimate freedom after forced isolation? it was beautiful.

If you see a guy riding an SV650 in the next couple of months, shivering, with a big smile on his face, it's probably me.


Great thread, thanks for letting me share. Hope you're all doing okay. Break a sweat, you won't regret it!

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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by MarkW » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:16 am

I agree wholeheartedly with those who are saying that although we are shaped by our past experiences, we don’t have to be defined by them. Whilst whatever psychological residue remains from my childhood is mine alone to carry and to deal with, after all these year I can’t honestly say that it weighs particularly heavily on my mind.

When my dad died my mother thought it would be beneficial for us all to go and see bereavement counsellors. I think she genuinely benefitted from it, and my brother was in his element – wallowing in histrionic self-pity and having other people coo and cluck over him - but I hated it. I have never been able to stand people feeling sorry for me, and after only a couple of visits I refused to waste any more of my time on it.

It was winter when we first went, and the three of us would stand at the bottom of the road in the cold and dark, waiting for the bus that would take us on the one-hour journey to the depot, from where it was a half-hour trudge to the bereavement centre. We’d each go into a little room with our personal counsellor, who in my case would spend the first half hour telling me in fluting tones that my father was very ill and that I had to remember that he loved me very much and would never want to leave me. She knew nothing of the hate-filled letter he left, or the plans he had made for a neat little murder-suicide, and I had no desire to put her straight. My head was somewhere else entirely. She was undoubtedly a well-meaning and good-hearted person, but she had a totally inadequate grasp of reality and clearly thought she was doing me good by whispering fact-free feel-good drivel into my ear. I have never had any time for religion for the same reason, and suspected that the only person who really benefitted from our sessions was the counsellor, who could go home at the end of the day with the pious and sanctimonious glow that comes from believing you have ‘done some good’.

The funny thing is, those sessions could have done me a power of good and set me off on a much healthier trajectory if they had been done differently. Instead of handing me a pile of coloured wooden blocks and asking me to pick the colour that most closely matched how I was feeling, or getting me to select the adjectives on a set of cards that described my mood, she could have said:

Listen, Mark: your dad was right to kill himself, because he was a c*nt. He left you to face at 15 what he couldn’t face at 48 because he had no f*cking balls – he was just a spineless limp-dick, and if he hadn’t killed himself you should have done it for him and made room for someone who actually deserves the space.”

Hmm… now there’s a thought… maybe I’ll set myself up as a counsellor… :wink:

Years ago, when I was still at university, I was asked by a psychology professor who knew my mother (and thus our story) if I wanted to speak to a therapy group she ran for Adult Survivors of Suicide – that’s the label you get if you make it into adulthood having lost a parent to suicide as a child. I think the face I made then was probably the same one I made years later, when I scratched my nose after changing our firstborn and realised I had some of his shit under my fingernails. You see, I just don’t share this stuff with people – it’s not exactly the sort of thing you bring up in casual conversation, and more to the point, nobody cares. And on the very rare occasions that I have let people ‘in’ I have invariably regretted it.

That said, there are times when I think that things would be a lot better if I could just explain myself to people and get them to understand where I’m coming from. Perhaps then I might finally start to feel as though I genuinely fitted in somewhere (other than at home), because for well over two-thirds of my life I have very much been an outsider.

My whole “friendly to everyone but friends with no-one” approach exists purely to facilitate normal social interaction whilst at the same time keeping everyone at a safe emotional distance. Most of the time it works perfectly, but whenever I am in danger of forming any sort of more meaningful relationship with someone I invariably sabotage it. I was in a pretty good band for five or six years and absolutely loved it, but as soon as I realised that a certain cosiness had developed between us I killed it stone dead and quit. Just like that. That was nearly three years ago and I haven’t seen any of them since, even though we all live in the same town. When I’m being totally honest with myself, I know that’s not normal.

Of course in everyday life it’s pretty easy to be chatty and friendly to people without getting close because that’s just how the majority of social interaction is anyway: I don’t feel that I have to guard against inadvertently striking up a deep and meaningful relationship with the postman, or the bloke who comes to read the gas meter, but where it does cause me some problems is at work. That same ‘rugged individualism’ that was forged back in the darkest days of my teenage years makes me an ‘unconventional’ manager, to put it nicely. I haven’t got the slightest interest in leading or following - I just go my own way and do my own thing as I have for the last 30 years, and if a couple of dozen people want to come along for the ride that’s fine with me. That said, we did our staff appraisals last week, and one of our longest-serving guys said that the only reason the company works as well as it does is because people will follow me out of sheer curiosity. Maybe that’s not so bad…

:D
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by fastbob » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:03 am

Now that the precious Harley is tucked away on SORN , this is what's keeping my mental health on an even keel . I do enjoy a bit of restoration work .
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by geofferz » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:41 am

Yeah that looks well fun. I need a project bike. And a garage. And a house. Then bike.
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by Mawsley » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:37 am

Spent my later childhood being sexually abused. Then raped. Then I got raped by a different bloke. Brains being awesome, it locked everything off, I didn’t remember a thing. I became a total c*** though, rebelling against anything resembling authority, doing any substance to absolute extremes and ending up homeless. Did the kind of stuff you do as a homeless before ricocheting through life like a ball on a pinball table. It was messy. Hindsight is easy now, but my mental health was terrible, I just covered it up with substances and ridiculously risky behaviour.

Wasn’t until my 40s I started getting flashbacks and then launched into a full-blown meltdown, about eight years ago. It began by me feeling more and more tired and negative. Then, one morning, I made it as far as the bus stop in the village, parked the car, and phoned the wife in floods of tears. Unsurprisingly, I lost my job.

Within 6 months I was pretty comatose on prescription meds and in the care of the psych service. Words don’t paint the kind of black void that occupied my head - those who’ve been there will know. Started cutting myself, then slashed my wrists. After some time in the local lock-up for loons like me, released to try leaping from a car doing 90 on the M11. More time with the NHS. Then the third and almost most successful attempt with a cocktail of meds and 2 litres of vodka. I was now a certified bi-polar II/general personality disorder/general anxiety disorder patient that people spoke to with one of those forced smiles so I didn’t kill myself in front of them.

Wife filed me as a bankrupt, the court took away my motorbikes, I had nothing left but my dogs.

Always had a lot of friends, lost almost every single one of them during this time. I don’t remember most of the things I’ve done or said while medicated but I do know I hear from next to nobody these days. Can’t blame them, I’d have blanked me too given half the chance. They acted like I had some contagious form of cancerous aids. But maybe it was just that I was still a massive c***.

I’d spent years chemically lobotomised by the mental health service, waiting to be “cured”, and decided to try taking control myself. There was a Steven Fry documentary showing his med-free battle with depression, “I can do that” I thought during one of my more lucid moments. I quit taking the meds the next morning and hid the fact from my doctors. When the psych found out she signed me off and refused to continue to see me.

Think that was around four years ago. I’ve been working on me as a project since then, it’s been a slog...but the good days have consistently outdone the bad ones, the dark moments have become fewer and less bleak. I tried every single technique going, even the loopy pseudoscience ones, and kept the ones that worked for me. Cycling, karate, decent food, music worked. Attitude adjustments, a lot of contemplation, a fair few tears and confinement to bed. And getting a bike. Then another bike. Then a new bike. Then a second new bike.

COVID was the final straw. The day they announced lockdown was like a weight had been finally lifted. I can’t describe the impact it had on me psychologically, it changed everything. I felt “back”.

Now I’m at the stage where I just get a bit sad now and then, almost what you could describe as normal - but I’ve never been “normal” in my entire life so it’s all a bit of a new experience. I’ve come to terms with the abuse I suffered and the lost life I could have otherwise have had, I’ve somehow fallen into a freelance job that I’m damn good at and gives me a decent income and a lot of freedom during the week.

I’m lucky. Damn lucky. This could’ve gone ultimately wrong so many times. And, as much as this was a personal struggle to wellness, I appreciate the role my long suffering family played. They stood by me, they overloaded me with unconditional love. There’s been plenty of setbacks, but each step back was followed by a couple forwards. At the end of the day I wanted to live, something I doubt I ever felt from teenage to mid-40s. I bloody love my life now.

It’s not over; I have to live with and remain aware of my mental state. I have to do things that are right for me and I continually remind myself to let go of the shit I can’t control. There’s more, but this has already become an essay. Sorry :lol:
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by XTreme » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:23 am

Sorry to hear all that @Mawsley.......I had no idea that your life had been as traumatic as that.

I thought mine had been difficult at times, but reading some of the posts here has put that into perspective somewhat.

Glad to hear that things are looking better for you now! :thumb:

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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by Six30 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:31 am

@Mawsley , good on you to get where you are today sir :thumb:
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Mawsley
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by Mawsley » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:57 am

Tis what it is, nothing I can do to change it. The past is real but I’m f*cked if it’s going to define my future.
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by Mickly » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:26 am

I’d typed up quite a long diatribe but some how it got lost in the Internetsphere.
So in short, I’m generally ok but when the black cloud comes down, it’s a different matter, no warning or reason, just a horrible feeling of hopelessness that I have to hide & ride out until it leaves.
Also my brain is against me as it keeps bringing up things from my past that I hoped I’d forgotten, mostly early hours of the morning but can take me unawares at any moment, it only reminds me of how poorly I’ve acted in the past through my actions/inaction, these thoughts stop me in my tracks & play on my mind for days later until they slowly recede, the only time it doesn’t happen is on my bike or at the gym.
Even having stopped working 2 1/2 years ago I still get Flash backs to conversations I wish I hadn’t had.
It can be anything that comes back, from small stuff like being late for school up to real tear ups.
From the outside I appear fine but inside I’m falling apart.
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by XTreme » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:52 am

Mickly wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:26 am
I’d typed up quite a long diatribe but some how it got lost in the Internetsphere.
So in short, I’m generally ok but when the black cloud comes down, it’s a different matter, no warning or reason, just a horrible feeling of hopelessness that I have to hide & ride out until it leaves.
Also my brain is against me as it keeps bringing up things from my past that I hoped I’d forgotten, mostly early hours of the morning but can take me unawares at any moment, it only reminds me of how poorly I’ve acted in the past through my actions/inaction, these thoughts stop me in my tracks & play on my mind for days later until they slowly recede, the only time it doesn’t happen is on my bike or at the gym.
Even having stopped working 2 1/2 years ago I still get Flash backs to conversations I wish I hadn’t had.
It can be anything that comes back, from small stuff like being late for school up to real tear ups.
From the outside I appear fine but inside I’m falling apart.
I think as we get older we tend to look back more......because we don't know how long our future is going to be.

But in my case I don't actually remember that much. I remember where I lived and where I was working back in a specific year.....but day to day stuff not so much.

My missus (we've been together 38 years) remembers everything I've done or said.......when she mentions something from the past I've got no idea!
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by Blackholesun » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:28 pm

Much better after crashing my L plate 125 after only owning it 2 weeks and breaking a bone in my arm have tentatively riden it last 3 days just a few runs round the block and happy to see make it home in one piece!

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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by Mawsley » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:17 pm

Mickly wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:26 am
I’d typed up quite a long diatribe but some how it got lost in the Internetsphere.
So in short, I’m generally ok but when the black cloud comes down, it’s a different matter, no warning or reason, just a horrible feeling of hopelessness that I have to hide & ride out until it leaves.
Also my brain is against me as it keeps bringing up things from my past that I hoped I’d forgotten, mostly early hours of the morning but can take me unawares at any moment, it only reminds me of how poorly I’ve acted in the past through my actions/inaction, these thoughts stop me in my tracks & play on my mind for days later until they slowly recede, the only time it doesn’t happen is on my bike or at the gym.
Even having stopped working 2 1/2 years ago I still get Flash backs to conversations I wish I hadn’t had.
It can be anything that comes back, from small stuff like being late for school up to real tear ups.
From the outside I appear fine but inside I’m falling apart.
That will always be there, chap. There’s never going to be a do over or erase button. Focus on the shit you got right, the stuff that gives you grins, being the you that makes you happy.

Or not. What works for one doesn’t work for all, but you do have to find a way to get over it. Counselling was a good start for me but that ended up going nowhere and getting repetitive. Well meaning advice was frequently filed under ignore - and the less said about the meditation sessions with a qualified eye doctor (who tried to convince me that a universal power existed) the better.

I’m not going to list off the catalogue of f*ckwittery I got up to, but I now appreciate that wasn’t the me I am now. Nor am I going to spend my remaining years atoning for my mistakes and sins. Shit robs us of our pasts, live for tomorrow.
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by Bender » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:55 pm

Mawsley wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:57 am
Tis what it is, nothing I can do to change it. The past is real but I’m f*cked if it’s going to define my future.
I'm glad you made it to that point 👍
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Re: How are you feeling ?

Post by S-Westerly » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:22 pm

Quote
My missus (we've been together 38 years) remembers everything I've done or said.......when she mentions something from the past I've got no idea!
Unquote

Your not alone there. I think it's a woman thing. I've been married 41 years and needless to say there's loads of stuff I can't remember but my wife apparently can. Mostly things I did wrong. The fact I can't remember them of course means that she can claim I did just about anything which is a tad irksome.
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