Nothing to Aim for…..

Now the runs that had kept me busy for the past few months are over my mood has completely bottomed out again. The excitement of pushing myself towards the finishing line has been replaced by the sense of having no purpose and nothing to aim for again.

Flooding back is the sense of failure because I can’t get my arse into gear and find something constructive to do with my time. As much as I enjoyed the gym there was a purpose to my efforts, now I can’t motivate myself to go!

I seem to have lost my mojo again!

photo credit: Google Images

photo credit: Google Images

Maybe I need to sign up for next years 10k run, at least then I will have something to look forward to again.

If only I had £28 spare….

In other news tomorrow I get to finally meet someone who means a lot to me for their support and encouragement over the past 12 months. Assuming they turn up of course as meeting the moose in the real world can be quite scary!

Shin Splints, Shits and Success

another medal for moosey

another medal for moosey

 

I can now hang up my running vest, consign the running shoes to the bin and retire gracefully from the running malarkey that has consumed my life for the past few weeks.

Or can I?

Either way I signed up for the Bupa 10k run in October in one of my hyper moods and today I achieved my only target which was to finish the race!

Struggling with shin splints I had to make 2 emergency IBS related toilet stops and a visit to St John’s Ambulance for some pain killers, which made a big difference to my finishing time, but the time taken was irrelevant what mattered was that I finished! There were around 12000 runners and I finished in the top 10000!

buparesult

I also raised over £500 for Mind which I know they will be so appreciative off so a massive thank you to those who kindly sponsored me, especially as I know that money is very tight for a lot of people. The support some of you show me is nothing short of inspiring and I am very humbled by the words of encouragement and praise that people shower on me!

Onward and upwards to the next challenge, I fancy a sky dive next time around. At least that will only hurt when I hit the ground as opposed to every step but who knows this running bug may drive me on to something more next year…

If you wish to sponsor me you can still do so via http://www.justgiving.com/garrywilliams

As for me, I am going to allow myself to feel incredible pride at another achievement Moosey has done since having depression. See you at the start line next year?

Only a Dream?

It is not often that I remember my dreams, usually if I do it is because they are so ridiculous that they stand out. For the past few months I have a recurring dream of opening a meeting place for people with depression/mental health illnesses to come and spend their days playing games, meeting folks etc. The Depressed Moose Centre if you will (name might need some work LOL)

I am a pretty spiritual person with strong beliefs in the afterlife and believe that people who have passed on contact you via dreams, in the past my uncles have visited me often to send me messages of support when I have been feeling low.

However the last couple of nights I have had disturbing dreams about my Uncle Ron, for those new to my blog I looked after Ron until his death and it is one of the biggest factors of my depression. The kind of dreams where you wake up and it feels so real that you find it hard to believe it did not happen.

I am sat at his old flat listening to him tell me that I could and should have done more to help him while he struggled and died in hospital. How he blames me for it everything. I woke up yesterday feeling really triggered by the dream, or maybe nightmare would be a better word.

It’s something completely foreign to me as usually my dreams revolve around me Mila Kunis, Cheryl Cole and a bottle of Jack Daniels and baby oil!

Now I am pretty sure in myself that I could not have done anything more for Ron so why almost 3 years since his death am I having these negative dreams/visits. Why when things were starting to look up for me? and why cant I shake the feeling that he is trying to get a message to me?

Have you had experience with these sort of dreams? How do you deal with them? I’m finding it hard to push it out my mind, and with my run coming up in 2 days it is really dragging me down when I should be starting to focus on dragging my body 10 Km!

Any advice welcomed…

‘positive about disabled people’

After being forced into attending another work related activity group by Seetec I sat in a room with 1 other person, yes 2 of us doing training!, and was given an hours workshop on my rights as a “disabled” person for getting back into work.

We were told about what rights with have under legislation against discrimination and I was surprised to learn about an initiative called ‘positive about disabled people’ – or “double tick” as it is sometimes known.

This initiative is used by companies to guarantee disabled people at least an interview ” if you meet the basic conditions for the job.”

The logo is below

Positive-about-disabled-people-300x256

Disabled people come under 3 categories

  1. physical
  2. mental health
  3. learning

If companies have this logo on their recruitment adverts they should at least give you an interview. There are 5 commitments that organisations are required to adhere to:

  • to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and to consider them on their abilities
  • to discuss with disabled employees, at any time but at least once a year, what both parties can do to make sure disabled employees can develop and use their abilities
  • to make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment
  • to take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make these commitments work
  • to review these commitments each year and assess what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans

But here are my concerns on this scheme..

How many of these firms who guarantee you an interview actually employ people with disabilities or is it simply a case of paying lip service for a scheme which makes them look better in the eyes of the less cynical like me. It is all well and good promoting that you are “positive” about disabled people but I would like to think they are actually making  job offers as well.

And then I was shocked to learn that companies who wish to use the logo are assessed and awarded this by none other than the biggest discriminator against the disabled – The Job Centre!

Nonetheless I still think the idea behind the scheme is great assuming that it is closely monitored and actually gives people an opportunity but having the Job Centre behind this is akin to having MacDonalds sponsoring a PETA protest in my eyes!

Having scoured the internet I have managed to find a list of companies on https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/ who sent a freedom of information request to the DWP – now surely this list should be more accessible?

Disability symbol national list

I would be interested to know if anyone else is aware of this scheme and if you have been interviewed, or not, by an organisation on this list…

Still on the plus side I actually learned something this week at something from the work program, although it was the training company Maze8 who gave this information and not Seetec!

You Go Yoga?

I do indeed go to Yoga classes twice a week. As part of my quest for distractions from depression, and to help with my knee issues as well I took the plunge 4 weeks ago and attended my first yoga class.

My expectations were that I would enter a class full of people tying themselves into knots while the fat bloke in the lycra (me!) could barely see his toes, let alone touch them!

I introduced myself to the instructor, a wonderful lady named Alex, and explained my muscle and joint issues to her, as well as my depression. She put my at ease by simply telling me to do as much as my body allowed and not to be too expectant of what I can and cannot do.

From the first five minutes I was hooked! Just sitting down cross legged, eyes closed and breathing slowly in and out seems such a simple thing to do BUT how many times do we simply do it? Never that’s how many times!

The whole hour of the class my mind in just focused on being able to get into some of the positions, not on anything to do with my mental health or the world outside the class. My attention is all on me and my breathing.

To be honest it feels amazing to actually be in tune with myself even for just an hour twice a week.

The other thing I love about yoga is that it really is a bloody hard workout! forget the running on the treadmill for an hour I sweat more in the yoga class than I do on the treadmill, well to be fair I do not sweat I glow :D but the whole body gets a workout, stretching my arms, legs and muscles in my stomach that I didn’t know I had!

Built into the workout is the knowledge that the time spent is all about me! breathing and letting go of my troubles and worries help greatly. I would go as far as saying that my depression has improved since I started going! I have also noticed that I am able to get further into stretches each time I go so it is also helping my flexibility and easing the pain in my knees as my hamstrings get a good work out.

As a distraction for depression, or other mental health illnesses I really cannot recommend yoga enough. The class is not full of skinny as a rake women with their legs over their heads easily going from one position to another, nor is it just for women! There are a few men in the classes with me, which is great for me to not feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.

Quiet time for the mind, deep breathing exploring myself and a hard physical workout! what more could you ask for?

Give it a try if there is a class near you. I promise you will enjoy it! and even if you don’t enjoy it what have you lost? an hour of your life is all.

Trying out something different is a string to my bow since I acknowledged my depression and decided to do something about it – if someone told me a few years ago I would not only be doing yoga but loving it I would have laughed at them.

My opinion is that people are missing a trick not attempting it at least once.

 

 

SuperMoose

I did it!! I did it!

I completed my 5k superhero run(walk) today!

Despite the stresses of the last week I actually got myself up and out the door at the crack of a sparrows fart and headed to Regents Park to meet my running buddy Gary – a fellow wordpress blogger who writes here

We arrived early eager to get our hands on the superhero costumes and changed into possibly the most unlikely superhero duo since Del Boy and Rodney!

the streets of London were safe for another day!

the streets of London were safe for another day!

There was a mass warm up for the 1700+ superheros and the first song that was used was….

so whilst everyone was dancing around the field Gary and I continued our pre run ritual of a cigarette and left them too it. It was hard enough coping with the poxy moose head smacking me in the nose every time I moved around.

At the start line I took off like a bullet from a gun (in my head at least!) and within 1k the pain kicked in like someone was running alongside me with scissors but I carried on moaning my way round the course until finally the finish line was in sight and I raised my arms wearily aloft as I crossed it in a new personal best time of 36 minutes!

After hitting the floor and finally being able to take off the moose head I was able to fully recognise what I had achieved. Five Km doesnt seem a big distance to lots of people but for me it is a huge goal I reached and hopefully next weeks 10 Km run in London wont seem so daunting now – depending on how my knees feel in the morning!

Thank you to wonderful people who have donated money for Mind, a wonderful charity. I even managed to meet the Big Cheese of Mind Paul Farmer today. The Moose did a great job networking.

Moose with his medal!

Moose with his medal!

Really cute! oh and the kitten aint bad either  RIP Izzy

All Cried Out

Apologies for the lack of posts recently!

The past week has been incredibly difficult for me and writing was the last thing on my mind.

It started off last Saturday when Mrs Moose went and stayed with her mum for a few days as things have not been great in our marriage and she needed some time out to think. Unfortunately being married to someone who suffers with depression can be extremely difficult and frustrating especially when that person is in a bad cycle and just wants to sleep!

Sheryl has put up with a lot of crap from me while I battle with this black dog and I can be both exceptionally lazy and useless in equal measures at times. Thankfully after four days we sat down and spoke about what we need and want and about how we can work together to get things back on track. The up shoot of this all is that she has joined the gym with me and we intend to work out together as well as attend yoga classes together once a week.

The harder I work at improving my mental health the more I ignore other aspects of my life and working at my marriage was one of those things I neglected. Thankfully a pep talk from some spiritual sources made me pick up the phone and get Sheryl round for a chat, rather than sitting here alone and wallowing letting my marriage fail.

So marriage back on track and my girls back home where they belong I walked into the kitchen on Thursday morning and found my kitten dead on the floor. The poor thing had been ill for a while as she would eat food really quickly and then spend the day throwing up or choking. It was still a heart breaking moment as she was a lovely friendly cat who used to sleep with me at night and liked to sit on my shoulder when I was here at the computer. Thank God I found her though and not Lilybet, its been hard enough trying to explain Cat Heaven to her the last few days.

So after lots of tears this week I am pleased to say that I made it through the week!

Yes you read that correct the moose cried a lot this week! and I am not ashamed to admit it.

And yet here I am ready to do my first run tomorrow morning and very proud that I have raised over £500 for Mind but at the same time dreading the runs over the next 9 days because they are going to hurt my knees.

I also wanted to give a big shout out to the following people for helping me the last week and being there when I needed them. In no particular order

  • weegee
  • madd
  • Gary
  • Maria
  • Antonella
  • Tracey
  • Adam
  • Jem
  • life on the edge
  • little whizz
  • Bethan

I am always quick to moan that I have dont have many friends but the online ones I have never fail to be there for me and I am very happy for that! It was also nice that my twin brother stepped up as well. The poor thing suffers from terrible moose envy but is a great bloke and his wife is lovely too! Thanks Dave and Deb.

Tomorrow not only will I be celebrating crossing the finish line I will be raising my arms aloft at the victory that this week was over depression. I made it through the hardest week in a long time!

Really cute! oh and the kitten aint bad either  RIP Izzy

Really cute! oh and the kitten aint bad either RIP Izzy

50k!!

My blog has just had its 50,000th viewer!

Thank you all so much for your support of me and my little blog.

Apologies for the lack of posts recently but I am in the midst of a personal crisis that I can’t write about.

To all the new friends I have made on Twitter and Facebook since starting this blog I thank you and to every reader, commentor and liker of my posts I love you all!

Hopefully the writing will come soon once my issue is resolved one way or another!

In the mean time please keep showing me support as it means the world to me and think of me on Sunday as I do the superhero run. Sponsorship still required if you can spare a few quid.

 

Rose is Back For a 3rd Time

As always I am happy for people to get in touch if they wish to write a post about depression. The more people we can get talking about it the better it becomes for everyone. Don’t be shy get in touch via the contact page! Garry

 

The talking trouble.

One thing that is mostly done against depression is talking, to either a psychiatrist, therapist or psychiatric nurse. Some people find it very pleasant to talk about their problems, I am not such a person. So what do you do when talking difficult?

1: information

when I first came to the psychiatrist and therapist, I had no idea what to expect or what would be expected of me. This made the whole thing a lot more scarier, many thoughts went through me. “do I have to tell everything about me?” “are my problems big enough?” “what will he/she think of me?”. “what if I can’t answer their questions ?”.

I will answer those questions now.

1 no, you only have to tell what you are comfortable to share, a relationship of trust between doctor/therapist/nurse and patient has to grow, he/she knows this too.

2 if something is bothering you it is important/big enough to talk about it. 3 these people are trained not to judge you and are ultimately there to help you and its good to keep in mind that they see a lot of people and heard a lot of story’s, you are not alone with these problems and there is always someone weirder then you. 4 then you say “I don’t know” or “I have to think about it”

it’s also good to be aware of the rules of confidentially where he/she is bound by, everything you say in therapy or with a doctor stays between you and him/her. There are exceptions to the rule, when you say anything that makes them believe you are a dangerous to yourself or anyone else they have to take action to ensure safety even if that means breaking confidentially.

Some countries have laws that say that they have to report abuse when the victim is someone who can’t protect themselves (like a child). It’s easy to find on the internet what the law says about that in your country.

When you are a child (under 18) its good to inform yourself about if and when your parents or legal guardians are informed. You can also talk to the therapist/doctor about what he/she will say if they do inform them.

You have rights as a patient and its good to look into them before you go for your first meeting, you will know where you stand.

2: questions

when you are with a therapist or doctor they like to ask a lot of questions but keep in mind that you can also question them, its important to understand what they are doing to help you and if something doesn’t make sense to you question them about it. If after the session you think of some things that don’t make sense, write them down to ask about it next time.

3 : pen and paper.

Talking about problems, especially emotional problems is not easy and sometimes you just cant say what you want to let them know. It’s okay to write these things down either before or even during the session and let them read it. In the beginning I always had a letter with me with the things I wanted to talk about. It is a good way to get the conversation started and let them know what is important for you at that time.

My therapist and psychiatrist even let me email them when being in the same room when they are reading the letter is too scary.

4. you’re the boss

its good to know that if you are an adult your therapist/doctor can’t do anything without your consent (if you are a child its your parents/guardians consent they need). The only exceptions to the rule is if you’re or anyone else’s safety is in danger and even then they need a judge to sign off on it.

Also in the conversation the doctor/therapist will follow your lead, so you decide about what you talk but you also decide if you don’t want to talk about something or if you had enough for that session, you are not obligated to fill the hour.

5. when it doesn’t click switch

therapist and doctors are also just people and there are no two alike. You can for example have 5 very good doctors and feel more comfortable with one then the others, they also have their own style and it doesn’t always match your needs. So if you don’t feel good with one, see if you can go to another. They also know that and understand that it just doesn’t always click and won’t feel personally offended by that you want to switch.

All this doesn’t make it easy to talk but maybe just a bit more manageable. I think everyone is a bit scared when they have to talk about the most personal feelings, you feel vulnerable and that is very understandable. But even when talking is difficult as it is for me, it can feel good to let it out and have someone who understands you and that makes it worth the effort.

The Joys Of Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)

For those of us who were fortunate enough to have been deemed unfit for the work, yet able to work soon by ATOS we were placed into the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) as part of receiving our Employment Support Allowance (ESA) benefit.

This mean our futures were in the hands of work program provides and I was blessed to find myself in the (in)capable hands of Seetec.

Not content with being spoken to like shit, being forced into attending degrading training sessions, being ignore when emailing my adviser it seems impossible for someone to actually change me from being on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) onto the correct benefit of ESA.

Today I had to go into their office for a “mandatory” appointment, by mandatory it simply means if you do not attend your benefits will be sanctioned for 4 weeks! yep 4 weeks of zero money!

So getting myself into a state, as normal when I have to attend appointments with Seetec I made my way there. Thankfully a friend took me as I did not have the £3 needed for bus fares! I walked into the office…

No talking to an adviser, no suggestions of how to get back into work or anything helpful like that….

It turns out I had to attend the meeting to collect a fucking letter!!!! yes the type of letter than can be sent in the post for the price of a stamp! but hey fuck doing thing easy for people, lets make them panic and spend money on travel instead!

Taken from Seetec’s website –  www.seetec.co.uk

Seetec is one of the UK’s largest and most experienced providers of Government ­funded employment and skills training programmes, helping thousands of individuals find employment or gain qualifications every year.

Seetec employs hundreds of dedicated and experienced staff across a national ­network of training centres to ensure that our customers and business partners benefit from an innovative and high quality service.

With a reputation for integrity, innovation and quality, our vision is to work with you to aspire towards, achieve and sustain your objectives through our training, employment and consulting services.­

if you put a shirt and tie on a piece of shit is it not still a piece of shit?

Now bare in mind I have been on  ESA since March 28th 2012 and we are into May 2013 is it really too much for me to have expected someone to notice that I am not on JSA? not forgetting the number of times  I have told them!

So now having picked up my letter I am being told that if I don’t attend on the following days I will have my JSA sanctioned!

14/05/13 1.00

16/05/13 1.00

20/05/13 1.00

22/05/13 1.00

24/05/13 1.00

28/05/13 1.00

30/05/13 1.00

03/06/13 1.00

Despite the facts that

  1. I am not on JSA
  2. I am deemed unfit for me
  3. I am not supposed to be searching for work

but lets not get the truth involved in this when we can instead make someone with mental health issues suffer!

Thankfully before I had even opened the letter I made the point of once again mentioning that I am not on JSA so I have been asked to attend at 12 next week to try and get this matter resolved with the job centre. History tells me I should not bother holding my breath.

Still as I am a benefit scrounger I can afford £3-£5 a day three times a week for bus fares!

Just another success story in the work related activity group that Ian Dickhead Smith swears by!