An update of sorts

I’ve not been writing.

Well, that’s pretty clear due to my lack of output.

Not that you really care since the only people who come to my site are spam bots, but it’s because I’ve had to reorganise things in, to me, a profound way.

I’ve been doing a university course part time to study something that I’ve always wanted to study. One of the side effects is that it’s made me rethink how I write, my style, characters etc. My characters are almost always quite two dimensional and bland. I think I’m more of a setting person than a character person and therein lies a problem.

Everything is shelved right now. I have shelved my novel Legba. I was having difficulty with that anyway. Again, characters were the problem.

I’m doing a rethink, a reorganise and working through some proper ideas. I’ve given up on keeping a schedule. Although undiagnosed ADHD explains why this has been a problem. Oh yeah, another big revelation in the last year is that I’ve probably got ADHD. I’m still waiting for an official diagnosis, but the NHS can only work so fast and I’m not high on the priority scale.

I will occasionally write stuff and throw it out into the void to see what’s there. I will also tidy up the site a bit as that’s definitely needed.

So yeah, that’s it.

Well at least the spam bots have something different to post to now.

It keeps building

There seems to be a lot of pressure in the world. Well to be more accurate my little world but the tension does seem to be building outside of my world too. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

I am feeling pressure to perform in my day job to a standard that has never been seen before in unprecedended circumstance. I’m feeling pressure to have a perfectly clean house, perfect exterior to my home and to do all my side-line creativity as well.

Let’s deal with the last first. My creative projects are a podcast, the blog here, editing a friend’s blog and I’m working on a novel. The podcast requires, in a perfect world, about a week or two of research. I was struggling with this before things went into lockdown. I’ve decided to put that all on hold until I’ve got the time, mental space and energy to give it the work it needs. There’s nothing more insulting to a culture than to half-ass your research.

The blog, I think it’s going to get more of a workout. Probably ranting at the world about things rather than stories. I will still take story suggestions from anyone and everyone.

The blog Soft Skills, I’ll continue to do that because I need the practice and the feedback.

Finally, the novel. The mental energy required to keep working on a narrative means that it’s just not happening right now. Since I’m using a typewriter to write it, the physical energy isn’t there either.

As for my home, it’s a tip, it will continue to be a tip until post lockdown when we can get the contractors in to carry out the work required. Then and only then will things start to get back to what I consider to be normal.

Finally, my day job. That’s my priority. I must work and attempt to meet the standards required of me. My job, luckily, can be mostly done from home. This means that I have to work around environmental factors and try to not snap at my other half or the cats. It’s frustrating since the house is a tip as I said.  However, I still need to ensure that I’ve got a job when all of this is over. That means going through the wringer now.

There’s a lot of pressure, there is almost an expectation that we should all have done our day jobs, started a side business, come up with an invention and read or write a stack of books.

I say f**k that!

The world right now is not normal. Everything is not normal! We’re trying to keep our heads together and get on with the job in front of us. This extra pressure is not needed or wanted. If you are feeling the pressure, then take a metaphorical step back. Figure out what is the priority and focus on that. For me, as I said it’s my day job. Everything else is going to be an extra and a nice to do but not necessary.

There’s resources out there to help you cope. If you feel that you need to vent please do, rant at the internet, scream into the pillow. Don’t drink (it doesn’t work) but reach out and try to ease the pressures in a sensible way. Don’t become a pressure cooker and explode hurting those close to you. (I’m very lucky not to be divorced by now)

Remember, it’s ok not to be ok….

Can’t Even

There’s been a lot going on lately. Work has ramped up and in some ways become difficult. We’ve also managed to some how get together a deposit so we’re looking at houses, thinking of moving and dealing with mortgage people and solicitors.

Mentally, emotionally and physically I’m exhausted.

One thing that’s been really horrible is the overacting to the smallest problem. Getting unjustifiably angry or upset at the smallest speed bump in the road of the life.

I’ve already looped in with my doctor (yay medication and the NHS) and also looping in with my counsellor.

Still it’s tough to try and focus. Being creative while hailing panic attacks is quite difficult and also frustrating. I want to write but the words aren’t coming.

Inspiration is fleeting.

I am feeling that we’re living in a situation of imbalance. We’re not going forward with anything because we’re in the process of buying a place. We’re our and about every weekend looking at properties which in itself is exhausting.

The flat is a mess too, were in the half packed place waiting for the call to come through for the financials and the property to be approved.

That’s the other problem of course. Everything is out of our hands. We have limited control over the situation and living in perpetual anticipation feeds into the gnawing anxiety.

The solution? Self care, self management, breathing, talking, taking the medication and exercise. My doctor has also told me in no uncertain terms to stop drinking. At least for six weeks.

So yeah, that’s what’s going on and it’s awful. I hate feeling like this and I feel like I’m falling apart.

Hopefully things will settle within the next six months but it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

Wine again?!

I do like wine. It’s easy to drink and it’s socially acceptable too. I’ve had about four large glasses of an inexpensive red. It was the taste of a cheap night.

Lately anxiety hasn’t been bad. Which is great, even though it’s a Sunday so normally it’s through the roof at this stage of the week.

I’ve been writing but not the type of output that I would like. I wish I could write for a living. No seriously. I don’t have much talent but I really would like to do this for a living.

Back to wine. I drink a few liquids. Gin, Whisky, Port, Coffee and occasionally water. Of course also wine. A dry white, a rich red or a fruity fizz. These are the things that……well to be frank i need to quit.

Drinking is great and acceptable in today’s culture but it’s not great for my mental health. It’s also not great for my creative output.

You’ll probably seeing few rather depressing posts in the next few weeks as I try to remove all this stuff and get over any type of psychological or physiological dependence.

Well…..this is going to be fun.

The NHS Rocks

I posted a tweet about this a could of days ago. Anyway, my back was so sore that I finally made a decision to go to the doctor.

I’ve been given super strong anti inflammatories which now have eased pretty much all of the pain. Went to to doctor, she decided to run my bloods for some other stuff. While I was there I was offered my flu vaccine too (I got mine months ago because I’m not an idiot) and we did a bunch of other things which needed to be done as part of ongoing issues.

I got a prescription, not just for what I went in for but a bunch of other things too see above with ongoing issues.

Pop along to the chemist and get my prescription handed. Not once did I have to take out my wallet nor did I feel like the staff didn’t care.

Coming from Ireland, who based their healthcare model on the North American model, it’s freaking amazing. It was a cost to see a doctor, a cost for any drugs. If you needed anything extra you’d have to book another appointment with nurse to do bloods and anything else.

Then you have the drugs. Oh heck, depending on who your doctor and what mood they might be in , they could prescribe you a generic or a brand. Honestly being sick could easily bankrupt a person. I know that it happens. Some care is covered, like emergency services etc but it’s a joke that have a mental illness, for example, means lots of medication that means you work just to pay your medical bills.

Living and working in Scotland, I absolutely love to pay my tax towards the NHS. It’s an amazing service, people are actually healthy. People are not worried about being able to pay their bills or worry. They don’t just ignore the lumps or the weird cough or the pain. They get it checked out. They get things caught early. They get the treatment they need.

The staff and services are stretched but they deserve nothing but respect because the NHS rocks!

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