Rebuilding your life… or ending it?

I’m sure, that as a new week starts, there are thousands of people starting out on a journey to rebuild their lives. The reasons will all be different and unique to themselves. The challenges they are facing will sometimes seem impossible. Quite a few will sadly not make it …. feeling the task they face too big to be worth the effort. My heart breaks for them. As in the news recently …. famous people who seem to have it all… unknown people who have virtually nothing. The thoughts that drive them to take their own lives, will never really be known. Unless someone can fit us with the equivalent of a black box in our minds… the truths will never be told.

My life has been a car crash. Twice I stepped away from finishing it all. Admittedly it was decades ago …. but it’s still as fresh in my head as it was on those two dark days. I purposely keep those memories fresh… as I NEVER want to go there ever again.

I rebuilt my life…. baby step by baby step. I fell over a lot …. sometimes on my face …. sometimes on my arse. But accepting a little help from others, I got up again and kept making little steps forward.

Not always in the right direction!

I made more mistakes on the way. I somehow managed to rise above them, by trying to learning from them.

We are never too old to learn. We should never be too proud to accept help when offered. We should NEVER give up.

Two years ago to the day, I felt despair, I was in limbo land, homeless, facing bankruptcy and relying on the generosity of friends. A failure in my own eyes. Self esteem was at an all time low. All this following a five year period of trying to find my own way, after a bitter split from a 23 year marriage. Where I lost family and friends, my livelihood and all the trappings of a ‘successful’ life… nothing boded well.

But two years on, with lots of adjustments, learning for past lessons of what didn’t work for me, I got through.

My life now has transformed…. I really am happy …. it’s not always how others would like to see me … but I have to do what’s best for me!

I only hope that those who are setting out on a new life path this morning, will find their Paradise. It will never be perfect. Just by making small adjustments, life will be worth living.

We all have to face our demons alone… despite being surrounded by people who love us. I make no apologies if, at times, I act as though I don’t need anyone. Because I have to be enough for me..

Two years ago no one knew how close I came to thinking nothing was worth it. But my own past life lessons kept me safe. Despite not knowing how I’d get through.

If you’re struggling … hang on in there! Make small adjustments… don’t try and change your world in one go. Accept help, but only if it feels ‘right’ for you. Baby steps all the way.

Do it for yourself. Because you ARE worth it.

Splitting infinitives… and hairs!

A friend sent me this meme thingy. I thought it hilarious … as the more I dive into the literary domain… the more I realise that my grammar is really and truly fucked.

But I don’t give a gnats fart!!

I have been ‘corrected’ so many times, that I now have a Criminal Record in the eyes of the Grammar Police. But it amuses me endlessly. I wonder what would actually happen if everyone practiced all the nuances of the English language??

I have English teachers among(st?) my friends. I have never been aware of their perfection in mastering the tongue which which we communicate (get me!) They are definitely more eloquent than me ‘umble self.. (doffs me cap at them who is cleverer than me) …. and if I spoke like that … well people would worry that the fdcking aliens had been and taken me over!

I am proud to have a Cornish accent, and even prouder to use the quirky dialect that we own. I can never emulate the plummy intonations of my ‘superiors’ … (or so they fucking think). I have to admit that in the past I have often adopted a posher voice to impress. Complete and utter waste of sodding time in hindsight, as fortunately nowadays it’s more acceptable to have a regional identity. I’ve definitely got a telephone voice… as sometimes needs must to allow others to understand me a bit better.

But Grammar…. give me a bleddy break!

Who the hell made up this shite anyway!? Who ever passed these laws??

I almost went into an hysterical nose dive this morning … through the vagaries of how my bleddy head works.. here’s how it goes….

I am currently reading a book written by Bertrand Russell… (to be always known as Branston Russell on my head) after he came up on my list … I was, at the time, reminded that my mother held him in some regard so thought I’d give him a go so to speak. Now I’ve learnt a bit about realism and idealism. I understood the principles. And let me tell you that I was fucking chuffed with myself…. anyways (!) this got me thinking again, about others that my mother talked about.

So … a little dalliance from the philosophical spectrum, led me into politics. She loved Lord Boothby…. so I had a quick Wiki wander. Bugger me …. we think this fucking shambles of political numpties we are dealing with at the moment are ‘speshul’?? It’s only the wonders of modern communications that highlight the shortcomings of our current political system .. scandals and corruption has always been fuckkng rife…. anyway the reason for my mornings histrionic interlude… was the description of the somewhat colourful Lord… by the late Queen Mother..

“He was s bounder, but not a cad”

WTF is the difference?? There must only be a fento hairs breadth in those two words ….. (Fento as in ‘quadrillionth’ NOT multi personality psycho… no negative aspersions being cast on our beloved, long gone Queenie)

So, there was me being a teensy weensy concerned that my lack of intelligence/education might show my ignorant arse up again to the Grammar Police… what the fuck for??

If our ‘Queens English’ Royalty can split definitions, then I feel I can split whatever fucking infinitives I like!!

So there…..

There’s always a ‘way around’ a problem …. the choice is yours.

Several friends happily sent me this picture … being a ‘Bear’ …. and having run a pub (briefly) …. and loving a social (!) drink… it made me have a nice old chuckle …..

But me being me… I took a closer look …. and somehow came to the conclusion that this actually sums up my bleddy life!! My chuckle went to a downright hysterical cackle…. I do so amuse myself with inane drivel at times…. so much so, that I recently had a proper belly laugh in a supermarket aisle… causing other customers to quietly back away…. after all there’s hardly ever anything hysterically funny in about bleddy bread is there?? Oh ok … baps are quite amusing… though down here on the Wild West of Cornwall, call them splits.

I digress yet again. Bothered? Nope…. no bleddy fun keeping to the point…

Anyway… apart from the literal interpretation of the picture …. what I saw was the road …. like my life it’s not all smooth…. got some rough bits to it, where I frequently tripped up, and went arse over tit. And there were times I needed double yellow lines and should not fdcking stopped on that route. The kerb is an even bigger trip hazard, but by stepping, or often falling onto it, it sometimes stopped me from being a head on car crash of the person I can be from time to time. (Ok a lot of the fdcking time!)

The road I sometimes thought was the right route, was often closed by some bleddy unforeseen obstacle, and ended up with having to take a diversion …. but I didn’t always take the recommended route. As you can see from the picture.. it’s pretty bleddy easy to get around that diversion…. I often took that option… going to have a look at what was actually blocking the sodding road.

At times it was easy to take baby steps past it…. other times I had to turn back to the original reason I stopped, and then take the recommended way… admitting that sometimes other people DO know better. That never happened very often as The Bear is always right!

Sometime Bears can be bleddy idiots …. just the same as everyone else.

One thing I never could do was go back any further, as the past is the past… that route wasn’t available any more… like in the picture.

As for the pub? Look at it.. it’s a bit mismatched in places … bits of it have character, whilst other bits stand our like carbuncles on its facade [windows] and detract from the prettiness…. but with a bit of gilding, a bit of floral dressing, then it’s still good to go…..

And apart from the obvious (to some) fact I ran a successful failure [a paradox… had to be bleddy done] of a public house… and I am a very social drinker… it’s the fdcking reason I am bankrupt, living off a pissing pathetic state pension, and having sweet FA in comparison to my previous life…. the result is?? I am actually happy as a pig in shite.

You just can’t put a price on it. Happiness has come from an eventful journey. All summed up in one picture.

You can only deal with what you are facing in your life… you can’t change what’s behind you …. but there are always options of how you move on… and sometimes obstacles and the diversion are there for a bleddy good reason!

As for me… who the fuck knows what’s around the next corner … but it’ll probably involve a pub and a tipple …..

As for the picture?? I’m framing that bugger.

Ageing. The inevitable truth.

I saw this picture recently. It made me think. A lot. In the end I decided that it is such a beautiful, and poignant depiction of old age. One I had hoped to aspire to …. but now unlikely to achieve.

So what did I see?? I didn’t read the words at first, as I wanted to form my own opinion. Yes… we are permitted to have our own bleddy opinions!!

First of all I saw the physical ravages of time…. but almost immediately after, I saw the love. It brought a lump to my throat the size of a bleddy football. I certainly felt short changed … as I don’t expect to ever feel that bond illustrated so simply. I’m not regretting my ‘efforts’ …. not all of us get the balance of loving right. It has to be a two way thing…. of equal parts… of loving, sharing, respecting, tolerating and all the other stuff that is required for a beautifully balanced relationship.

I watched a programme last night, where a celebrity couple had been married for almost 50 years… their love for each other shone out. I have very good friends who are much the same. I watch it around me everywhere I go ….. I won’t say that any of their lives are perfect… but the strength of their love carries them through all sorts of shite and mayhem, that life chucks about with no thought as to who, or what we are.

Am I jealous? If I’m honest I am. Feel cheated? Nope. I made my choices … they weren’t the right ones …. it’s as fdcking simple as that.

I have been struggling with ageing recently… but this picture made me realise that it not my outward appearance that pisses me off…. I don’t particularly like it… but it’s an inevitability of getting old.

This wasn’t always the case…. having been married to someone who saw a woman ageing as a crime…. and got pushed to one side, and eventually replaced by someone 20 years younger. He made it out to be my fault… and I took a very long time, and a sodding cringeworthy route, trying to prove my sexuality. Ffs. What a waste of time.

I’ve always been able to work with what I have…. I’ve never been tempted to go for the enhancements so readily available. What you see is what you get.

My arse has always been a trial… less peachy and more squashed aubergine. My jowls could give a hungry hamster a run for its money…. and my upper arms are rapidly becoming less batwing and more albatross. The skin has started to stretch like a thin pizza dough … without the elasticity, have age spots and senile warts popping up like some sort of human Jackson Pollock living art piece. Then there’s the fdcking long black wiry hairs appear overnight on my top lip and chin.

Oh the joys, and reality of ageing!

But in actual fact, those things are not what pisses me off. It’s the hidden stuff. The lack of stamina, the creaks and aches… all in the knowledge that I am fecking wearing out.

I can use smoke and mirrors for what is seen, if need be. But there is not an awful lot to be done about the ‘internals’. THAT is my nemesis.

Along with not ever finding that special someone, who accept me, senile warts and all.

To those much younger people who look for the outwardly physical perfection so readily available nowadays…. it’s only by the perceptions of others where that perfection lies.

If you can be happy in your own skin, then that is priceless. I’m there with that. I’ll have to fdcking deal with the other ‘inner’ shite the best way I can.

I’m luckier than most. So many haven’t made it…. some because they didn’t feel worthy of life. I was almost among that head count. I am ecstatic to say I’m still here.

I don’t have the special love shown in this picture …. but it sure as fuck illustrates that age takes no prisoners. It’s going to do its ‘thing’ …, whether you bleddy like it or not.

Beautiful B’stard

To transient friends…

So yesterday I did a table top sale in the local village hall. A waste of time for the most part. All I did was cover the cost of my table… hey ho … my bleddy tat was obviously not other people’s treasure.

But oddly enough it served a good purpose. I spent the time watching the community interact. There was lots of hugging, cheek kissing, smiles and laughter. The atmosphere was brilliant. It was lovely to watch … but I’m still not ready to be part of something bigger like that. I realised I still feel a bit vulnerable … a failure even. I know friends and family will think I’m nuts… as I’m a gobby old Bear who isn’t afraid to talk and chat about everything and nothing. But I still feel like the ‘needy’ friend…. mostly because of financial reasons.

There were a few things that happened over the last few days, that made me think hard about friendships… and how some people definitely come into your life for a purpose … and when done, just fade away. Through no other reason than how we all move on.

I have definitely been reducing my time spent on social media, not posting anywhere near the amount of drivel I usually do, and not commenting my ‘opinions’ so much on others either. I don’t think anyone has actually noticed … says it all eh? Though last night I did comment on a ‘Nostalgic’ post …. only to get shot down … by people much younger.. who’s memories don’t go back as far as mine… and who use the good old t’internet to get their ‘facts’. I won’t be doing that anymore. Made me feel a bit angry and a bit sad that people don’t actually bleddy ‘listen’. They only have capacity for their own opinions. Hey ho. I’ll just add the old nostalgic memories to my book.

At the sale, I had a table next to a lovely friendly lady, probably almost half my age. We got chatting and found out she’d only been living locally for about the same time as me. After a few people greeted me, she asked how I made friends. I was a bit taken back. What she had seen were people who were only acquaintances saying hello. So I explained a little of how I got to know them. Through neighbours, dog walking and volunteering in the RNLI shop. But none of the people I knew were friends as such…. This young lady was bright, bubbly and chatty to everyone. She even helped me to clear my table at the end of the sale and load my car. I was tempted to suggest meeting again.., but I didn’t… as I know I’m not ready to make any more friends as such.

A lot of people have come in and out of my life in the past, and many I still miss. Some have disappeared through my own neglect of their friendship, or circumstances which upset me, or them. The rest were through ‘natural wastage’…. not in a negative way either…, just lives moving on in different ways.

Then I watched a poignant film last night… about an unexpected friendship, through tragic circumstances. I know it was fiction… but the underlying story was a true reflection about how , at times, we cling onto someone, because we think they have the answers.

Finally, this morning, I saw a comment on one of my blogs … it got me to stir my stumps and take a long hard look at where I am at the moment…. and where I’m heading.

I decided I am doing ok … but like all my old school reports said ‘could do better’.

The irony is, that I’ve already started to address the issue… without that long hard look. Cutting down my time on social media. I have made baby steps to engage with my friends again. But now taking in my current situation…. that is with no fdcking money to get out and join in with the kind of stuff other people do … and as I did in my past life! I don’t have anything left in my ‘budget’ for socialising this year, due to over committing myself…. being the stupid old bugger I am….

I may be fdcking old … but still not a lot bleddy wiser!! But I’m still learning….

But friends are what keep me going. Those that have moved on … and those that are still around.

All were, and some are still here for a purpose…. for the good mostly.

Addictions aren’t always obvious…

This first few months of the year are bleddy draining. Because of the short days and fecking long nights. When your old and on your own like me, (despite the dumbfecker dog), your mind gremlins work overtime. The little b’stards do their best to stir the shit in your life pot. Because I reckon the mind squirrels depart to go on a well deserved break… leaving only a skeleton crew behind to deal with rampaging gremlins.

For those stumbling across this blog… Mind Gremlins are the negative evil b’stards that have an ‘ology’ in causing stress, anxiety, depression and even worse. The Brain Squirrels are like the musketeers of Cerebral World. Dashing about, trying to ferret out the little negative shits that cause untold harm. This is my way of dealing with this sort of crap. One of my ‘coping mechanisms’…..

I have been more than fortunate in finding ways to keep moving forward. I fecking point blank refuse to give into the forever stalking black dog of depression. I didn’t like what it did to me in the past, or all the people around me. I have been determined to keep my head above water. That does not mean I hide away, doing nothing. There isn’t a single physical or mental condition in the world that has been ‘cured’ in that way!!

We have to find ways of making sure that what we do is best for ourselves. And trust me, that ain’t fucking easy! Especially if you’re a walking human car crash like me….

I am a self confessed paradox. I like the real world, but also hate it. I like people, but can’t stand most of them. I love to challenge myself, but am one of the laziest lumps of lard around.

So for me, it’s about finding a balance…. and in truth, the scales have often been like a fecking turbo charged see saw…. such is the shit the brain squirrels have to deal with…. that’s why they told me to write it down, as another coping mechanism.

Oh… ‘the voices Esmeralda… the voices!!’ No apologies for the poetic licence… it just illustrates a point. We all have ‘voices’… it doesn’t mean we’re all as mad as a box of bleddy frogs…. it means we use the head we were given. I think for myself, for my own self preservation… because sure as hell, there isn’t one size fits all. We are all different. Unique. And need to treat ourselves as such.

Anyway… I fucking digressed again!!

I’ve needed to hibernate, being a Bear, it’s what I do …. but unfortunately I’m also a human… and unlike bears, I have to venture out in a regular basis for supplies. I’m too bleddy old and creaky to go a’huntin and a’gatherin… so have to take myself out into the real world. It’s not my favourite place… but as my favourite people also live in it, needs must to venture forth. I just have to get on with it!!

I love the virtual world… I can chose to engage…. or do I? The place is addictive! It has helped with the healing process of the shit I’ve had to deal with. It’s also often obstructed it’s progress too. Like everything in any world… there are opposites…. paradoxes!

So here I am hibernating in my world, whilst trying to understand the shit going on in the real world, using the virtual world, to bring the other worlds together.

When I sat back and looked at where my very depleted army of head squirrels were trying to lead me … I had the thought of the three worlds vying for balance… but let’s face it … have you ever seen a bleddy three armed seesaw??!!

So I had a rethink on balance …. and I eventually got it. (Took fucking long enough). For me to heal properly, to live and not exist, I need to balance the real world with my world … using the virtual world, as my pivot. But my pivot recently had been growing too big…. and not fit for purpose. It’s taken over. It’s ruling the fucking roost. It’s addictive!

I never thought I’d be one to fall foul of social media. I thought I only took what I needed from it…. but the b’stard keeps feeding me … it keeps feeding all of us! And a lot of it is mental junk food.

So I’m on a bit of a diet for the next month. Cutting down on engaging with my ‘feeder’. I’ve no idea how I will fare…. but I need to get back to thinking for myself, talking to real people! Not to a phone screen or a laptop….

On other words…. I’m heading out to scare the natives more often.

I’ll still be around the virtual world. But on my terms. This covert addiction is a b’stard. It’s the toy of the Brain Gremlins. And with the help of incoming Head Squirrels I will beat the arseholing addiction!!

Wish me luck!!

Self absorbed? Hmmm.

So… here’s the problem with being a bit of an amateur philosopher… it makes my bleddy brain hurt! I do aliken it to overthinking. Which to many people, is apparently a bad thing. But I’m not so sure. If you don’t think things out … then how will you ever learn things for yourself??

We get told so much crap… we get bombarded by the media with alarmist scenarios that I try to avoid following the Sheeples, and endeavour to find my own answers to whatever the daily ‘crisis’ is. But it does have its downsides… that fecking life innit?? I sure as hell don’t hold all the answers to what life chucks at me… but at times I’m ready with s bleddy baseball bat to lob the ‘problem’ right out of the field. At other times I take a direct hit and crumble for a while, nurse my bruises, then get back on the pitch.

I’m no different from anyone else. I’m the same complex bundle of living organisms, with chemicals and electric impulses whizzing around a now sadly ageing, and battle scarred torso.

I have been close to the edge of the dark abyss of depression many times. But I use my coping mechanisms to recognise the negative triggers that abound in my head… courtesy of those fdcking Brain Gremlins … but they are usually being challenged by the other team .. the Head Squirrels. So fortunately for most of the time I can maintain a mental health balance.

I’m one of the lucky ones.

I think I have more down times now, rather than sliding towards depression. I can cope. I DO put myself first. As there is no other fecker walking in my size sixes. My needs and worries are mine. At times they kick the shit out of me, and I will ask for help… more by ways of distracting me from my situation, than asking for direct help with my problem of the day.

The reason I don’t ask for help with the actual issue, is that they are personal to me, mostly of my own making, and often just in my own sodding head. What I do ask for is something to take my mind off it, just for a while. Until I can get back on track. It may just be a quick chat about something silly. Engaging in a conversation in a subject that interests me. Listening to some upbeat music in a pub. It doesn’t take too much.

But what I have been getting back at the moment, is other people’s ‘problems’. It’s been all about themselves. It’s not that I’m not interested, but I don’t need to replace my worries with someone else’s. But how do I get that across, without seeming like some uncaring , selfish, miserable shit??

It seems to me I need to search deep for another coping mechanism. I think people now see me as much stronger. And I truly am in many ways. I live simply, in a cosy cave, in Paradise. I have very few needs or wants. I have some niggles. And the Gremlins are currently having a feckkng field day with them… just itching to cause trouble. I think the Squirrels are having a bit of down time, as the balance ain’t quite right. I need to find the reserves to counteract the negativity creeping in.

Is this self absorption? Are my friends I seek distraction from my own problems being self absorbed? I don’t fecking know.

But I will continue to overthink the issue. It’s the only way I’ll find my new coping mechanism.

As I’ve said on many occasions… I know it’s ok, not to be ok… and I am sort of shuffling in the middle of that at the moment. One thing I do know is that I have learnt the lesson to keep on learning. Live evolves. Shit happens. I will never give in. I am no victim of mental health. I am a survivor!

So it’s time for me, and the reserve legion of Head Squirrels, to sally forth, and beat seven sorts of shit out of the b’stard Brain Gremlins .

I’ve already used one coping mechanism by getting it out of my head, and writing it down. I don’t give a shit if anyone else reads it! It’s about me. A baby step forward. My next one is distracting myself… without asking others. I can do this. I’ll go and sit on my big stone bench with pooch, and look at the sea

My spirits will lift immediately. I will gather my thoughts into a tidy manageable bundle. Another baby step. I’ll find something to do for the rest of the day that doesn’t add to my ‘niggle’. Including a bit of 6 Nations rugby I hope. Tomorrow will be a fun day of distractions… I will socialise, listen to jolly music, maybe watch some more young chaps throw an oval ball about … eat some good home cooked food, and move forward a few more baby steps.

The hopefully my head will then be balanced enough to become a good friend again, and see if I can cheer up others to help face their own ‘niggles’.

But in the meantime, I shall be self absorbed… as I think that is going to be my new coping mechanism.

I don’t want to discuss my ‘niggles’ … as they are unique to me, and will seem trivial in comparison to what many others are going through. By everyone’s own perceptions. So apologies if I offend anyone with my thoughts, that’s not the intention by any means.

It’s about survival of the fittest. And I’m not particularly fit…. I’m feckkng old, still fdcking battered and bruised, and fecking tired of not always being ‘ok’.

But that fecking life innit?? Especially if you have mental health problems … or in my case a history…as I have no intention of going back there!!

Every day a new day. Every day a new lesson. Every day a new beginning.

I fdcking hope so anyway.