Friday, 12 July 2013

Time Waits for no Man ... or Woman

Here we are, several days after I finished writing the last post, which I then sat on (partial mitigation will follow) ... it sounded like miserable depressive workaday whinging and a bit too personal. Then after a bit of thought, I decided that it would be fundamentally dishonest to say that we are off on a two year jolly because we are the happiest people in the world and everything is always rosy. Yes we have picked ourselves up dusted ourselves down and started all over again, through the woes of damp indoors, leaky motorhome, followed by it being written off.

However it would be a great big whopper of a lie to say we haven’t both been casualties of the last eighteen months.

In March I think I had to go to the doctors, I felt rundown, low and out of sorts, I filled in a questionnaire, because the symptoms I was describing had no physical manifestation ... to whit; my flu like symptoms were ghostly ethereal stuff and the only medicine that would treat them would be the Prozac kind, or having a few sessions with a counsellor. I was depressed, I knew I was depressed when I booked the appointment, but I didn’t say I was depressed to the receptionist until I was pressed for a real symptom.
It’s a mark of how depression is viewed by the medical profession that the receptionists tone and manner changed in an instant to positive “you need to see the doctor and quick”, the same day in fact. So that was March, and with all things NHS (unless you’re admitted as an emergency), I’ve had to wait for a counsellor, because the Prozac route was one I didn’t want to take. In the meantime I was given some very good self help stuff to be going along with. Clearly self help stuff is unlikely to help with severe depression, but for me a few key thought processes looked at, and turned upside down, with a bit of practice had a real effect.

1. Tell yourself a different story: Or put in the real world, life’s given you a beating, you’re expecting life to give you a beating, you tell yourself life will give you a beating, you go and look for the beating life is expected to give  you ... you get a beating off life ... this one just runs and runs. Tell yourself a different story. There are examples in this blog, like when we were dealing with the insurance company, I expected the worst of the worst, and we had a good result in nice simple steps, from assessor, to the value agreed for payout, to the sale of carcass of the old Moho, and purchase of the ambulance.

2. Don’t set your expectation too low.

3. Ask yourself will certain things matter in six months, next week, a day, in half an hour? Clearly being in debt and facing repossession matters all the time it’s an issue, but there are systems in place to help you, if you can pick yourself up long enough to get to them. However someone seemingly being off with you at work, or dropping a full shampoo bottle on your foot in the shower, even running out of milk or finding the breads gone mouldy ... or there isn’t a loaf in the freezer when you thought there was. This isn’t the Lord God almighty being vindictive ... it’s just “shit happens, deal with it”. When you’re depressed the “deal with it” bit can become so much bigger an issue than the event that kicked off the episode, in a series of episodes that have a massive cumulative effect. That seemingly ignored nod from a colleague in a corridor feels like an impending, disciplinary, a fight brewing yaddah yaddah yaddah, as opposed to; they are as busy as you and their mind and eye were elsewhere.

4. There is always an end to things. When I separated from my first wife, things were reasonable between us until she found out I’d met someone else three months after our split, and that I’d taken our son with my then girlfriend’s son to a park to feed some ducks and play one fine January day. The next day I found a restraining order accusing me of violence towards my son, and then over the next five months the accusations just went from worse to worserer and worserererer. It was pure unadulterated hell for twelve months, but somewhere deep down I knew things would work out, because I knew I’d done fuck all wrong. I knew there would be an end, I wasn’t sure where that end would be, I was frustrated by a legal system that tied itself in knots, I was scared when I was interviewed by the police and I hated the Social Services department (and still do), for their ineptitude. For information social services will be about for a long time, letting Baby P’s die, while telling you that contact with your child is unadvisable as its upsetting the mother, despite the court order that says you have joint custody ... there is a word, but Amanda says I can’t use it in the blog). Some days you’re high as a kite, because a judgements gone your way, others you feel like cliff diving from Beachy Head, BUT and it’s a big but, I knew the truth would out. It’s one of those times when that grain of hope is all you need to know there will be an end. And if you look you will always find that grain, and if you can find someone to help you look after the grain of hope, or keep an eye for the end with you, you’ll get there, and as one door closes another will open.

These simple brain/mindset re-programming techniques worked for me, and I have an Amanda to keep an eye on the grains of hope, and to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have four sessions left with the counsellor and I have this blog to write out the issues, and that is something else that helps. In writing it out you can find your contradictions and knots and untangle them ... it’s therapeutic, and if even one other person reads this and gets a clue, then all the better.
Summer has finally decided to turn up, and  we still seem to be in a perpetual state of busy; weekends away, odd jobs, research including: tyres (multi season or normal and winter), insurance, breakdown cover, VOSA inspections, European driving laws, how to avoid toll roads, which book on European driving laws to buy? Quite large odd jobs at my elder brothers, selling our old car (which I found out by squeezing the search parameters really tight is actually worth quite a bit more than I thought because of its six speed gearbox ... who knew)? All of which comes with a certain stress, an anxiety of the unknown. However we have chosen a path, we have decided to do this thing. We could bail out and just move to Somerset, get part time jobs and do discovery on weekends. We can always come back ... and there’s the grain when things look bleak or mental ... we have a choice.

Digression: We’ve just trundled into Leigh on Sea on what has become our usual train, the early morning sun is ever so bright, there is the merest hint of heat haze and mist, the mud flats are glistening green, blue and grey and the little boats sat on the mud in bright colours all pointed the same way make for a glorious picture foreshorescape ... as does the salt marsh beyond. We have now experienced many variations of the tidal range, today’s is absolute low tide, and Friday last week I trundled into the City of London past the second highest tide of the month.

There’s another grain ... being in the present. Be where you are when you are. Be flexible for the future, because you don’t hold all the answers, and no one expects you to ... and if they do, that’s their problem.
I think this done. We have a way to go, and a lot to do, so posts will be sporadic or absent for a month or so, but hopefully, once we’re done there will be posts about scenery, and things seen with pictures attached.

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