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Losing Weight and Feeling Great

Okay I admit it I was wrong about this whole exercise thing!

I am starting to notice the rewards for my effort in the gym and I’m enjoying my time there. I am getting known by the staff there and starting to interact with more people.

My IBS had been playing up last week so much so that I only went on Monday so when I walked through the doors again yesterday it was nice to be asked by the staff where I had been and how was my training going.

I pushed really hard during my workout yesterday and it was a nice feeling to have the sweat pouring off me knowing I was working the hardest I could physically without causing any damage! I am painfully aware of my limitations but have felt the need to up my game slightly so that I can get maximum reward for effort and I have felt the difference in my mental health as a result of exercising regularly.

It’s more about the fact that I am out of the flat more often than any endorphin’s released through exercise. The level of support I receive from people online also contributes massively to my mental health as it is great to know people are willing you to succeed.

I finally managed to wake up early enough to attend a yoga class at gym today.

Early enough, in fact, to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill BEFORE the class!

I am hoping having a good ole stretch of muscles will ease the pain in my knees and am proud to report that I did not fart and did not follow through despite being in some father “interesting” positions.

The downwards facing dog has been rechristened “the dead moose” but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the class and will be attending on a regular basis all being well! I am so proud of myself for trying something like this which is completely out of my comfort zone – but one complaint I have is about the amount of mirrors! I look like a beached whale, so much so in the suggestions box I posted the following

“can we get the mirrors from the funfair that change your body shape!”

not sure its gonna happen LOL but one can try.

I am also pleased to report that I was actually told today “your losing weight!”

The fact is I have now lost 1 stone (14 lbs) but to have someone else acknowledge it felt great! It certainly inspires me and gives me added encouragement to know that people are noticing the changes in my body.

 

Besides this I am feeling confident enough to pose for some photos and we all know I love a semi naked moose photo or 4!

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I get bored easily and that is never good when there is a camera around :D

No Love like a Daughters Love

I am very lucky to have wonderful children and they certainly help me in my recovery - especially my daughter “Lilybet” who at the age of 3 has Daddy well and truly wrapped around her little finger!

The poor thing is desperate for dance classes which are well out of our budget but she happily dances away and likes to show of her ballet skills – mainly taught to her by Angelina Ballerina and not her twinkled toed father!

With that in mind once she found our mini camcorder today she insisted that I interview her whilst she showed off her ballet, naturally in her outfit! a girl’s gotta look the part after all!

and here it is for you to enjoy

 

oh and btw this was not scripted she came out with this all herself!

and for those who really wanna see the moose in a tutu

31837-Masculine-Moose-Ballerina-Dancing-Ballet-In-A-Pink-Tutu-Up-On-Tippy-Toes

Guest Post – Rose

My name might be fake but my story isn’t, my struggle with depression began when I was about 13.

another thing you should probably know is that I am diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, communication (especially verbal) is difficult for me and expressing how I feel was until my 16th or 17th nearly impossible.

When I got depressed for the first time I didn’t know what hit me, I was just a child so I didn’t know what depression was, I just knew that I felt bad, very bad.

It hit me in the spring, I was still going to school and doing what I had to but in the break times I mostly just sat on a curve away from everyone till it was time to go back into class. That summer-break the gloom that fell over me didn’t go anywhere, it didn’t go anywhere for about 2 years.

I was alone in this time, there must have been a million times when I wanted to let anyone know how I felt but the words never came past my lips. And how do you say, I don’t know why but I feel sad all the time, I want to die just to make it stop? I didn’t understand it at all so how could I explain ? I woke every day sorry that I woke at all, I thought about dying all the time and looking back I don’t really understand why I didn’t die.

I didn’t get help back then, no one knew. Some noticed I wasn’t all that happy but didn’t do anything to help.

Since then I have been dealing with these depressed feelings on and of for years, it mostly just lasted days maybe a week or two but I got more or less use to feeling bad every now and then.

In my last year of school I found some people online who seemed to understand how I felt and I found comfort in knowing I was not alone.

After school I went to work, in the first years I was, despite my problems, a good worker as I worked very hard. But in 2011 it went down hill, I got depressed again and this time it didn’t leave me for months. I couldn’t keep up the quantity or quality of work and my bosses started to complain, time after time they told me I needed to be better but I just couldn’t. After a kind of intervention of my bosses telling me to get myself together, it was Christmas-break and I was alone at home.

Being alone might seem like a good idea when you are depressed but it doesn’t make you feel better, just lonely really. It was the night before Christmas and I had gone to a film to kill the time and got a bit intoxicated and went home again. My bosses had suggested to me that I depressed everyone around me and I believed them fully hearted, how could I live with myself wile I was hurting others with my presence, I couldn’t.

So I took out a razor blade and put it against my wrist, I was fully intentioned to end it all when I suddenly remembered that it would be Christmas when people (probably my parents) would find me. I couldn’t ruin Christmas for those who I loved so I didn’t do it and went to sleep.

Both Christmas days I spent with my family and was feeling a bit better by doing that, so I decided to finally made an appointment with my GP the day after Christmas. Making that appointment was the hardest thing I have ever done, did the call and hang up thing about 20 times before I was brave enough to stay on the line long enough to speak to the assistant.

I made a point of saying what was wrong to her because I knew that it would have been even more difficult to say with the good doctor (who I saw on my own for the first time) staring pitiful at me.

It was very hard to say “I think I’m depressed” to someone, I couldn’t tell you where I was exactly afraid of but afraid that I was. The appointment went about how I thought it would, I was unable to really speak, managed to answer a few questions and that was about it. As I was clearly in a very poorly state the GP prescribed some anti-depressants for me and made a follow up appointment in two weeks time. I was glad he took me serious enough to help me and the next day I started my first dose. The GP did forget to mention 2 things, 1 anti-depressants don’t work instantly and 2 you get the worst side-effects before they work (in the first week). I am not saying not to get on them but do recommend that you let someone know that you are on them, someone who can help you through it all because its worth it but its also very hard. I had (still have) a very good friend who kept reminding me that it was important to stay on them and that was mainly the thing that got me to take them every day.

They did help, for a couple weeks but then it went downhill again.

I informed my employers of my depression but they where not all that understanding, they kept pressuring me to get better soon and I couldn’t make them understand that it would take time.

After increasing my dose it became clear that I needed more help then I was getting and I got a reveal to a psychiatrist. The intake is pretty much answering a whole lot of questions, the questions where not even asked by the psychiatrist himself but by a GP in training. Some of the questions made me wonder how crazy do they think I am ? But they are just the standard questions everyone has to answer. Then she went to the psychiatrist and they talked alone for a wile before I was called back in. he said I was indeed depressed but also probably lonely and he had a point there, so he said I should talk to someone, I was reluctant to do so as talking isn’t exactly my thing. But I agreed to make an appointment with a psychiatric nurse, was a little disappointed to find out that the waiting time was 6 weeks, 6 weeks is about a lifetime when you are feeling badly. I cried my eyes out when I left the office, it had been very tiring and nothing was solved yet.

Later that day I called them again and told them that I wasn’t coming to the next appointment, then it seemed just too much effort at the time but they didn’t let me go that easy, later I was called back by the GP in training and she convinced me to at least try the talking thing.

So, I waited the 6 weeks and showed up by the psychiatric nurse. She was kind and all that we could really talk, it helped me to take a note with me with the things that where bothering me so we could talk about it. Even though the talks where nice, I got just more depressed and it was decided that my meds didn’t do the trick. The psychiatrist changed them but before I could start the new anti-depressants I needed to get off the old once. This would also be something you need someone by because withdraw symptoms will make a bad time worse.

It was when I was completely off meds for a week and my nurse was out for two weeks that I really couldn’t cope any more, I was crying all the time and just a mess really. Because my employer had said that I wouldn’t be believed if I called in sick again and if I wasn’t doing better soon I would be fired I was afraid to stay at home. My father made the call and told my boss to leave alone.

I called the psychiatric office to get to see the replacement nurse but she wasn’t working that day, so I called back the next and she made an appointment with me for the next day.

When I got there I did something I never thought I would, I allowed them to admit me. I made that choice because I couldn’t predict what would happen if I went home again, I was suicidal

I was in the psychiatric ward of the local hospital and being in an unfamiliar place with people I have never met was a very scary thing for me. I was trying to cope with it all really and it went okay the first day because I was left alone that day. The next however I was woken up then after breakfast I was told it was time for the day-opening, no idea what that was I went with the nurse who told me that and was sat in a room with a group of other patients and they all went round telling how they have slept and how they felt, it seemed very weird to me not knowing that a wile later I would be doing the same, everyday.

Then there was on the program “movement on music” I was like what? I have to do stuff in the hospital? My idea of an hospital was lying on bed mostly and maybe reading a bit but the psychiatric ward just doesn’t work that way. After the therapy hour “movement on music” I had enough, I wanted to go home again but when I told a nurse that the answer was just NO. I was very upset by this but there seemed to be nothing I could do about it. Then I was told I was being moved to another hospital because for some reason the psychiatric ward in this one would close during the weekend. I wanted still to go home but even my parents thought it was better if I just stayed for a wile so I did. It took a wile for me to settle but I went with the program and the routine was quite nice. I started at K1, the critical care unit, the program there was a bit more relaxed then the other group and was easier in my condition to follow. Then after about a month I think I went to the K3, something I fought at first because I can’t handle change very well but after a wile I settled again and it became like a second home. It was nice to have people around me and stuff to do everyday.

In total I was in hospital for 3 months, did get out during the weekend on leave and later I worked 2 afternoons a week but I always came back “home”. I began to like talking to the nurses that I got to know pretty well and was generally feeling better. But then the doctors wanted to sent me back to

the other hospital, I didn’t want that because of the change and so I refused and went home instead.

At first it was weird being home again and having to well entertain myself again, in the beginning I missed having people around me all the time and that there was always someone (day or night) where I could talk to.

I am 25 now and I wish I could say that my fight is over but it isn’t, I still talk to the psychologist once a week and am under treatment of a psychiatrist who is specialist for people with autism.

I went through several psychiatrist in a year and even though changing wasn’t my wish it has learned me an important lesson, not every psychiatrist is the same. My first talked as much as I did so that where very quiet sessions and the second never seemed to have enough time. What I want to say is that not every healthcare worker is going to be right for you, you need someone you can trust and who you feel understands you.

Tomorrow I will increase my dose of anti-depressants again in hope that I will feel better. I still often think that I will feel this way forever and that I never get better but that is what depression does to you, it makes you believe that it will last forever.

It won’t, depression is a horrible disease but it also very curable, you just need to stay alive to see it and that is very very hard I know. The choice to die is one I can always make but I just want to make sure I tried everything before I do cause there is no taking back death.

Rose can be found on twitter here

IBS and Me

Thankfully I can find the funny side in my situation and it certainly helps get me through the bad times.

With that in mind here are some pictures which best describe the past few days in my world.

cheeseontoast

it all started with a craving

cheesevolcano

and then the inevitable happened

bigroll

not sure this will be enough

record

gotta be worth a shot hasnt it?

ringoffire (2)

no words needed!

of course IBS is no laughing matter. It is ruining my life!

It’s Bloody Shitty if you ask me! (see what I did there? genius I tells ya!)

Not much brings you down more than spending most of the day rushing to the toilet! Thank God I didn’t have to go anywhere that day of it could have got very messy.

Now I just need to find the number of someone at Andrex to see if they want to sponsor this blog!

I can see it now…

who needs a cute puppy when you can have me!

who needs a cute puppy when you can have me!

17th April 2013 017

Nature, Science, Music, Friends and a Happy Moose

Yesterday I went for another meet up in London with some friends. Facebook friends for years but we had never met in person and I was delighted when Nicholaus sent me a message telling me he would be coming to London and would I like to meet up with him. As a couple of other friends worked in the area I messaged them and we arranged for them to join us as well.

I left home 3 hours before our planned meeting time and headed to South Kensington tube station excitedly as I had a brainwave to visit the Natural History Museum beforehand. I still have fond memories of a visit there when I was 10 or 11 but hadn’t been again so I was looking forward to roaming the walls of the building again.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

 

The building itself is stunningly beautiful never mind the exhibits just the amazon architecture blows me away.

As you walk into the building your greeted by a dinosaur

The diet had worked a bit too well!

The diet had worked a bit too well!

There was also an exhibit of some massive antlers! imagine the size of the beast who wore these things..

Too big even for my massive head!

Too big even for my massive head!

I really was in my element wandering around, ipod on, lost in the wonders of the museum.

Taking photos of the building as much as the exhibits, especially as the lighting in the place is not great for photos but I did at least try! David Bailey I am not!

17th April 2013 018

The ceiling of the museum

17th April 2013 019 17th April 2013 017

Having spent a good hour and half around the museum it was time to meet Nicholaus. By this point I was buzzing, the museum really helped relax me and when Nicholaus arrived, after getting the hour later train then having a power cut at Victoria underground station LOL we headed to the Science museum.

I am more interested in natural history than science if truth be told so much preferred the Natural History Museum but must admit to being devastated at the price of a decent moose hat in the shop! But £12 for a novelty hat is well outside my budget! heck that would have cut into my Big Mac fund :D

Next we headed to the Royal Albert Hall

Moose at the Royal Albert Hall

where we were joined by the others

Moosetagnon and the 3 Mooseketeers

Moosetagnon and the 3 Mooseketeers

 

The beer was great and the conversation even better – easily the best day of the year for me! I had an absolute blast meeting with these friends for the first time. I really do best in social situations like this! despite my miserable bastard persona at time I love being around people and this was such a wonderful day!

A day of culture for the moose – who’d a thunk it!

And as the day was so good I rewarded myself on the way home

17th April 2013 100 17th April 2013 101

However someone forgot to take his IBS tablets for the day and the day was almost ruined whilst trying to find 30p to use the toilet at Victoria Station! THIRTY PENCE! honestly what a joke to have to pay to use the toilets, but thankfully I made it JUST in time.

Luckily for you guys I decided against photographing the aftermath but if I had taken a picture it would have looked something like this…

why I MUST take my IBS tablets

why I MUST take my IBS tablets

 

I really cannot recommend enough making plans with friends and getting out and about! It always makes me feel on top of the world to be around people who WANT my company and want to be with me. Living on the border of East London means it is only 25 minutes to the West End for me and I really enjoy heading to London  for the day to socialise!

The rewards of the struggle to get out are so worth the trouble – if you get the chance to make some plans do so! make some if you have not already I will happily meet people at any station in London for a day out! This is the 4th time this year I have managed to meet people! Im bloody proud of myself for this and already making plans for the next meeting.

London is waiting for you and the Moose will be your guide if you need it. I am fairly cheap, normally a beer and a MacDonald’s will keep me happy and I guarantee it will be worth your while!

You will even get a depressedmoose.com business card for your troubles and they are priceless, and by that I mean I did not pay for them :D

“Could Do Better” Story of my Life

Three words that have followed me from childhood into adulthood!

Every year my school report contained the same thing from most of my teachers “Could do better” and if I was to look back on my 34 years the same words would apply.

I seem to be a shining example of a wasted life with very little to show for the talent(s) and ability that I possess.

I am actually more intelligent that I act, and yet I can look back at almost every aspect of my life with pangs of regret over how little I have actually managed to accomplish. Whether through my fault or others making the choices for me there is nothing for me to look back at and think “wow I achieved everything I set out to do!” be it career wise or personally.

I have had more jobs than I care to remember since leaving school in 1995, working in Retail, sales, pubs and clubs, a teaching assistant and even being a doorstep collector for a loan company (issuing loans and chasing repayments) and yet at this point in my life I still have NO IDEA what I want to do with my life.

At 20 I was footwear manager in what was the biggest sports shop in Europe! now I can’t even get employment in shops as there are so many people applying for each job. I applied for a volunteering position at Mind and didn’t get as much as an interview. I feel like at 34 I am unemployable! The rejection side of job hunting is scary especially for someone like me with self esteem issues to begin with! It is almost 3 years since I had a job and whilst my depression is severe enough to currently keep me signed off I then have to deal with being tarred as a “benefits scrounger”. The time will soon come when I need to start looking for work again, even if currently the idea of being at work scares the hell out of me, not just the job itself but the drama of the commute which will be hell for me with my toilet issues, especially in the mornings!

The talent is there though it is more a question of using it proactively and productively! Besides finding it in the first place because there really is more to me than sitting on my fat arse!

Wasted Talent should be my motto! What can I do though? I am not a writer that much I have been made aware off, chances of me writing a novel pass with each day that I don’t open up the “Second Chances” file and work on it! 6 months since I even looked at the story so far tells me that it is not my niche!

So where now? answers on a postcard please because I need some inspiration to make the step from scrounger to bread winner before we sink into the financial abyss.

As my idol Mr De Niro said in the film A Bronx Tale “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent!”

 

“Sonny and my father always said that when I get older I would understand. Well, I finally did. I learned something from these two men. I learned to give love and get love unconditionally. You just have to accept people for what they are, and I learned the greatest gift of all. The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.”

I guess time will tell whether I can A) find my talent and B) make the most of it

For now though the trawling through jobs I have no hope of getting will soon be starting and hopefully I can find something that gives me a chance or at the very least not let the constant stream of rejection send me into a spiral!

 

Mind Media Awards 2013 – Mind

Mind Media Awards 2013 – Mind.

Entires for the Mind Media Awards are now open.

Before entering, please take a moment to find out more about thecategories and the criteria.

Entries must be submitted directly for the following categories:

The following categories are free to enter and we welcome nominations as well as submissions:

Gym Update

As my training for the 10k run picks up pace (did I mention my run? have you sponsored me yet?) I am feeling pretty damn proud of myself lately.

In the past 2 weeks since I joined I have been to the gym 9 times, thats 9 days out of 15 which is pretty damn good considering my state of mind and physical problems.

I allowed myself a check on the progress I have been making and have, so far done the following

  • lost 2 inches from my stomach
  • lost 11lbs (or 5kgs)
  • shaved 10 minutes off my personal best for 5kms
  • spent obscene amount of money on running clothing! but seriously those running tights rock!
  • felt a new sense of self confidence about how I look

 

that’s not a bad list is! to be fair I am only walking on the treadmill as too much jogging sends far too much pain shooting down my legs so I stick to a brisk walk. In terms of the 10k run all I am aiming to do is start and finish. I have no time goal whatsoever, I’m more interested in raising some money for Mind and actually crossing the finishing line in one piece.

But it is rather nice to feel a sense of achievement for a change and going to the gym is certainly helping my self esteem!

Sounds

The clock is ticking loud and clear,

Each minute feels like an hour.

The sound of every passing second

Reminding me I should be sleeping.

 

The boiler slowly kicking into life.

The flame reigniting

Both these constant noises

Remind me that I’m still here – fighting.

 

The humming of the refrigerator

The computer slowly whirring

I rise up from my creaking bed

At last a moose is stirring.

 

The creaking doors and windows

As I greet the world outside.

The kettle boiling and cigarette being lit

Sighing with that first nicotine hit.

 

The crow down below

Squawking with all its might

“wake up you lazy bastards

it morning time not night”

 

The cats following me around the place

“Feed me I want to stuff my face!”

The mornings are my favourite time

Full of joyous sights and noisey rhyme

 

And so at 7 am here I sit

Taking in all the sounds

A new day is beginning

Another day that I will be winning!

Emotionless Moose

Yesterday I attended the funeral of my Great Aunt Eileen who passed away aged 90 on 25th March. The cremation took place in Coventry which meant a 2 hour drive from London. Leaving at 10 am was difficult for me with my concerns over my IBS but thankfully the medication had kicked in and I had no issues for the whole day.

Anytime I have to leave the flat in the morning involves me getting up at least 3 hours beforehand to make sure I am “empty” and have taken Loperamide and wait for it to work so I don’t have the added stress of finding a toilet. Even more important when driving for 2 hours! but thankfully it worked nicely yesterday – I even managed to eat a cheese sandwich on the way which is the equivalent of waving a red flag to a bull most days!

At the service as the coffin was brought in I felt nothing, not a single thing. Even when Abide With Me was played all I was interested in was singing the words rather than thinking about past loved ones who have died and had that hymn played.  No tears, no lump in throat, no feelings of sadness especially watching my beloved Nan suffering. Just as importantly when I woke up this morning no repercussions from the day suddenly catching up with me.

Ladies and gentlemen I believe this is called  - making progress

For me not to cry my eyes out and then reflect on Eric, Ron and Teresa is a huge step in my recovery.

For me not to spiral downwards following a funeral is a huge step as well!

I was more focused on the well being of  my Nan than I was about anything else and it may well be that this is the reason that I was so calm but for the past few years I have cried whenever I have heard Abide With Me and this time I did not, for me to want to sing it was even better!

Long may this frame of mind continue!