Things I have learnt recently

As I have been reflecting and taking time out I have also been learning some things about me that I thought I would share with you.

1) when the cats wont smell your feet it is time to change your socks – fairly self explanatory I think…

2) loud farts are funny – unless you are wearing your ipod and think its silent until you see the look of horror on the faces of the other people in the lift.

3) the washing up will not do itself no matter how many times you wiggle your nose, blink your eyes or sing to it.

4) same goes for the hoovering, laundry and general housework.

5) talking to an attractive lady on the bus AFTER you have just come out the dentist with half a numb mouth is more likely to get you arrested than a date..in my defence I did not realise I had a wonky smile and was dribbling…

6) if people are easily offended by the real you, then you are doing just fine..

7) masturbating with tennis elbow will not cure the condition but make it worse..(erm so a friend told me)

8) hiding all the mess from your front room in the bedroom does not make it go away, it just makes it harder to find your bed!

9) I am not a centipede and do not need 7 pairs of trainers and 3 pairs of shoes.

10) opening the door to a very good looking woman, in your boxers shorts with your cock pointing between the buttons only has success  in 1970′s porn and not 2014…

11) laughter can make you feel so much better about things

12) I dont need 100s of friends when I have a few amazing ones

13) hiding things in the back of your mind only means when someone brings up the subject it all comes flooding back :-(

14) my cats like to run around like lunatics when I am most tired…

15) my cats seem to think I need a bodyguard whenever I am sitting on the toilet as they have to surround me…

16) the dentist is not as scary as I thought!

17) online dating is not for me!

18) I can be by myself and survive, not crash, not do anything silly and be happy

20) I missed 19 and you didnt notice….

so what have you learnt recently?

500…

followed-blog-500-1x

 

500 followers of this blog is quite an achievement and I am extremely proud that so many of you want to read my moaning, depressing stories :D

I hope (okay I KNOW), that I have helped some people with my experiences and I am so grateful to all the new friends that have come into my life as a result of this blog. People from all over the world, even some in my home town of London have become firm friends and without this blog I would never have met them.

So thank you for putting up with me, supporting me and reading my story without judging me. There has only been one person who has “trolled” me in the whole period of this blog so I know I am fortunate to have so many good visitors to this site. Keep the comments coming I enjoy reading them, and wish I got more to be honest.

It is heartwarming to be at the end of such support and long may it continue. The more people (especially men) we can get talking about depression the less stigma we will face and we can continue to educate the ignorant…

Thank you!

I Forgot…Now I Remember

So in between the worst week in memory I suddenly was hit by a thunderbolt.

Oprah Winfrey was on the Jonathan Ross show last night here in the UK and said something that hit me right between the eyes.

She told about how she was sexually abused at 14 and ended up pregnant, she lost that baby and her father told her

“You have been given a second chance, DON’T WASTE IT”

She said it was there and then that she knew that she wanted to help others using her experience.

This was the reason that I started blogging, to help other people by sharing my daily battles.

It took a kind message from someone on Facebook (you can add me here to remind me that people DO care about what I have to say and that it DOES help others.

For those regular and long-term readers you may have noticed every now and again that I have a degree in wallowing and self loathing.  It stems from years of rejection by various people and sometimes the walls we have had built for 20+ years need to be pulled down and rebuilt. Rebuilt with better materials, modernised to allow people in…

The problem I have is that I take every little rejection personal. Someone who I thought was a good friend has just dropped me like a stone which hit me hard, where I go wrong is that I forget that it is the other party that has issues and not me (all the time!)

I like to go that extra mile for people and forget to look after myself properly, although being concerned for other people is a good thing in my eyes. I need to remember to be kinder to myself, and when people do send praise my way to accept it. Dismissing praise is a bad habit and one I need to work on – so keep the praise coming, all in the name of research of course.

The point though is that this blog has had nearly 80,00 views with an average of 100 views a day. This means people look up to me, sometimes this idea blows me away that I have so much interest in little old moosey. I do have a sense of purpose, I WANT to be viewed as someone who people can look at as an example of how depression can ruin your life but still somehow we survive, even if at times the dark can be overwhelming.

I focus on what I want not what I need. What I want is often not obtainable because it is out of my control, what I need is what I allow to come to me. The world has a way of bringing things/people into your life when you least expect it. I am now working on allowing nature to take its course, or God’s plan to show rather than forcing everything.

When people are struggling yet take the time out to message me with ideas, advice, the offer of an ear it shows that I do actually have more than I admit at times. While I expect too much from people I know that this is an unrealistic approach to life, there are lots of people who message me via social media to offer warmth, sincerity or a swift boot up the backside!

I focus on those who DON’T contact me….. from this moment on that will change.

If I am so forgettable to them then surely that means they are forgettable to me right?

I need to fill my days again, the worst thing that happened to me and my recovery was having to quit the gym because it helped me so much, enhanced confidence at the weight loss but more importantly I was leaving the flat and doing things everyday.

The question again today is WHEN will I get better and no longer WHY wont I get better.

And who would’ve thought that Oprah Winfrey would be my inspiration…

One final thing, I want to extend a huge thank you to the person who donated to me today via the paypal option on the home page. It humbled me that you would be so generous and means the world to me!

Thankful for…My Kids

When I feel down, worthless and generally shitty I like to try and focus on the things I am thankful for..

A good friend, Kay, emailed me this week about November being thanksgiving month in America and with that in mind for the rest of the month I intend to post daily about the things I have that I am thankful for..

Starting with the most important

Brandon and Elizabeth

I am blessed to have two wonderful children, both so much fun, loving and annoying in equal measure BUT my reason for fighting and recovery.

Brandon and Moose

Brandon and Moose

Lilybet and Moose

Lilybet and Moose

To my beautiful kids, Daddy loves you both very much!

Thank you for being my inspiration

especially for any runners behind me in the races

Why Do You Share EVERYTHING?

A question I was asked earlier today based upon a tweet I sent.

IBStweet

 

As I walking home from the shop earlier today I was lucky enough to shit myself!

So why tweet about it? share it on facebook? and blog about it? after all it really is a bit of a shitty subject isn’t it!

Who really wants to hear about someone who’s life is ruined by not being able to control his bowels?

But what if there is just one person out there who has the same condition and can’t talk about it with anyone?

what if they see what I have written and it makes them seek help?

This is why I hold nothing back on my blog. I want to be able to help someone.

Embarrassment does not keep me awake at night, my issues are all brought about by my own criticisms of myself.  What people think about me is not a factor in my mental health because I can guarantee that I think less of me than anyone out there.

Regular, and older, readers of this blog know I talk about issues that a lot of men dare speak about. From erection problems to bowel issues if I suffer with it I will share it because all it takes it just one person to get the ball rolling and suddenly it is not so taboo.

I would like to think I have earned respect from people as a result of my openness , in almost a year of blogging I have never received a negative message from anyone about the subject matters I write about.

What is embarrassing to others is, unfortunately, everyday live for me. Depression and the stigma attached to it is nothing compared to the suffering of IBS. All the blood tests and other tests have shown that I am not intolerant of foods and that it’s all stress/anxiety related, yet I carry on regardless because I inspire to help other people. Where I let myself down is post accident where I let my confidence suffer and get drawn back down.

My concern comes from the runs (yes in more ways than one am I concerned by runs!) I have to do this month. Not content with the Bupa 10k run on 27th I have also signed up for The Superhero Run a week earlier. What if I have an accident on the way round the course?

Well thank God for my sense of humour!

I may just order this t-shirt from vistaprint to cover that eventuality (I designed it earlier!)

especially for any runners behind me in the races

especially for any runners behind me in the races

So if you find a post on here that you find embarrassing, remember that it is something I have to deal with. If I have to suffer than other people are suffering as well.

This Moose is an all guns blazing kinda mammal and deep down I suspect you would not want me any other way!

RIP Teresa

Teresa my friend from Texas sadly passed away last night.

Without her love, support and friendship over the past 3 years I would not have survived.

She helped me deal with the loss of my uncle and it was her who encouraged me to start this blog, write poems and publish books.

Teresa inspired me.

Teresa guided me.

Teresa always listened, never judged, never preached. Somehow she always had the answers but never gave them directly to me, she would just show me a path and wait for me to find the answers myself.

Teresa was like a mentor and a mother.

Teresa was the nicest person I have ever “met” in my life.

Sometimes people come into your life for a reason and I firmly believe (and Teresa told me numerous times) that she was in my life to send me onto the path of writing.

I will miss her terribly, the tears have flowed this morning.

We spoke almost daily for 3 years, spent new years eve talking together in 2011 and 2012. She knew me inside out, she was my rock. She gave me the strength to fight depression instead of being smothered by it. I knew if I had anything on my mind she would listen and advice.

I feel numb, I have lost my support.

And yet I know she will visit me in spirit, continue to guide me along with my uncles.

She did not suffer she was not in pain and she will be overjoyed to be with Jesus now, her faith was astounding and she helped me reconnect with God.

A new angel arrived at Heavens Gates last night, our loss is Heavens gain.

A remarkable woman who blessed me with her friendship I will never forget you Kitty.

One day we will finally meet!

Everything I have achieved with this blog is down to Teresa, she encouraged me (sometimes demanded) to write

Sweet dreams Teresa you were loved by many, especially me!.

I will continue my work helping others in your memory!

My Open Book

MY OPEN BOOK

A poem or, as friends prefer to say, my lyrical therapy!

 

Baring my soul,

Showing the real me,

Exposing my inner demons,

For the whole world to see.

 

Like an open book,

In my own unique style,

The intention is simple,

I want to learn how to smile.

 

Emotions and feelings,

Fears and frustration,

Depression and Anxiety,

Shared with the blogging nation.

 

The outgoing Garry,

always talking too fast,

Gregarious and outspoken,

Locked in the past.

 

Not gone forever,

Still locked away tight,

With each daily victory,

He is winning this fight.

 

Finding strength from others,

Their battles much more severe,

If they can do it,

I have nothing to fear.

 

I know I can beat this,

Having depression is not a crime,

With the writing I am doing,

It’s a matter of time.

 

Embracing the good times,

Focusing on the things I do right,

Like the lighthouses at sea,

It blinds me with the light.

 

Removing the bad thoughts,

The process of healing,

Pride in my writing,

Is all I should be feeling.

 

Without this depression,

I would not have the desire,

To help other people like me,

To help set them free.

 

I feel like I have found my place,

All this time it’s been in front of face,

I had the strength and the skill,

Now I have the will!

 

So this my book,

It’s informative and smart,

It’s not full of clichés,

It’s written from my heart.

 

The chapters are filling,

But so much more to see,

Keep turning the pages,

Share this Journey with me!

 

My written Salvation,

My victory will come,

It may take weeks, months or years,

But I will have my day in the sun.

 

An open top bus ride,

Through the streets of my town,

The moose beat depression

Garry has reclaimed his crown.

 

This book is my glory,

Its chapters completed,

When I can finally say the words,

DEPRESSION HAS BEEN DEFEATED!!!!

 

=================================================================================

My other terrible attempt at poetry can be found here

Swimming Against the Tide

For a list of all posts please visit Moose Tracks

An Interview With The Moose

image

The Moose Busy “writing” his blog

I was lucky enough today to catch the Moose hard at work on his blog, as you can see from the photo above. I had been invited to his “office” by his PA as he was willing to grant me an interview about his depression, the causes, the road to recovery and his hopes for the blog he is writing and what can be achieved as a result of it.

I was met at the station and surprised to be blindfolded and bundled into a waiting car all in the name of protecting his location so once I arrived I was delighted to meet such a charming, engaging “person” willing to expose himself (no not in that sense!) and give up his time in the interests of, in his own words, “helping to end the stigmas surround depression and other Mental Health Illnesses”.

After taking a few photographs, at his insistence – using his own camera no less!, we sat down for what started out as a little chat but soon turned into a wonderful insight into the man behind the moose!

Please sit back and enjoy the ride….

Garry: What made you realise you had depression?

Moose: I had known for some time that something was not right with me. I have had certain symptoms for a number of years without recognising what they amounted to and always managed to keep my head above water, somehow, without feeling the need to seek help from my Doctor.

These symptoms included, with a high combination of them at any one time

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
  • Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

When things started getting too much for after a trigger moment I knew I had to see someone and get help.

G: “Trigger moment”? what do you mean by that?

M: I guess the easiest way to explain that is by saying it was like my “Eureka!” moment when all the pieces fell into place and made me realise that I couldn’t go on the way I was living my life.

The build up to my “trigger moment” all started after the death of my Uncle who I had cared for almost full time for the last 12 months of his life. While I was caring for him I didn’t have the time to concentrate on my own issues as he needed me to be strong for him and by the same token I enjoyed the time we spent together albeit with the unhappy ending. I say unhappy loosely because I firmly believe he is in a better place now and no longer suffering from his ailments, one of which was depression!

After he passed away I soon fell into a deep depression while battling my feelings of grief, anger and frustration and felt like I had let him down by not doing more for him. (For the record if I knew then what I know now about what sort of treatment was available to him I would still be kicking his Doctors arse 14 months later!)

Fast forward 7 months from the death of my uncle and I was at my lowest ebb and ready for a long drop from my window  to end it all! This for me was my “trigger moment”

G: So what happened next?

M: I made the important step of making an appointment to see my GP and ask him for help. I remember my first words to him like it was yesterday “I need your help, I can’t take it anymore and I’m desperate!” The words fell freely from my mouth and once the dam was breached I couldn’t stop talking (and crying!) about the years of pent-up depression and I left his office that day feeling like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
I was diagnosed as suffering from “high intensity depression” those words well a relief to me, it meant I could now start recovering!

Moose relaxing with some cake

G: So what changed after seeing your GP?

M: The biggest change for me was being able to communicate properly with someone about how I felt without worrying about being perceived as “weak” for having depression. Suddenly my wife could hear from me about my feelings, thoughts and worries and since then our marriage has gone from strength to strength.

There is a lot to be said for simply talking to someone about having depression or talking to someone who has depression! If more people spoke openly about this they would be amazed at how much it would help them. Since I no longer have to hide the fact I have depression I can focus on helping myself then , as I become stronger, helping others.

G: Is the blog part of the healing process?

M: Yes and no. The blog is like my diary where I can express myself freely and share my emotions and thoughts. It helps me to write these things down and look back over them when I am in a better frame of mind so I can learn more about myself and what causes my depression and what makes me feel better. I find it easier to write than I do to talk to others about my depression, apart from my wife of course!

G: What are you hoping to achieve from your blog?

M: Well the main objective of it is to make myself better! From there I am hoping to help other people, especially men, learn about depression, its symptoms and how it is ok to ask for help, that it is not a sign of weakness. I also hope that through reading my blog people can help their loved ones by learning more about how depression can affect people and what they could do to help them.

Moose with his friend Jess

G: So what happens now?

M: There is no set plan, as long as people are reading my blog and feel inspired by my words and experiences I will continue to write it. I intend to gain lots more followers and readers in the hope that I can help even one person then I will feel like I have accomplished something. I intend to bore my friends on Facebook into submission so that my Facebook Page gets shared around in the hope that I get more likes and therefore more readers coming to my blog.

For the first time in years I feel inspired and the creative juices are flowing helping me to recover or at least understand more about the depression that I have and what causes me to have the ups and downs! I am making myself heard in a positive light and gained a new-found respect for myself in the process. It can also be said that people have a new-found respect for me too and see me in a different light than before.

G: How can I help?

M: Giving me this platform has helped, my readers will learn more about me and hopefully they can help spread the word of my blog. The more people who read it the better chance we have of showing depression in a positive way and in turn the more people we can get talking about mental health illnesses the easier it will be to end the stigma of it. People with depression come from all walks of life it doesn’t care what riches you have or what career you have.
At least one person in every six becomes depressed in the course of their lives, that shows how many people you know could have this illness yet would you know what to do or how to help if a friend came to you and wanted to talk? This is where, hopefully, my blog can help.

A relaxed moose during our interview

And just like that the moose was gone! Back to his keyboard and desk and I was on my way back home.

I would like to point out that the moose received no money for this exclusive interview but did accept Pringle’s, Pepsi max and big red chewing gum!

I hope you liked this interview!

Garry

Related Posts:

Depression and Me

Depression 2

The Man behind the Moose

or for a complete list of all my posts so far please see Moose Tracks

Another Award! (Happy Dance!)

2012 Inspiration Award

I am honored and humbled again to have been given this award by a fellow blogger! This one was given to me by the wonderful nothinginmynoggin who has a very good blog of her own about her struggles with mental health illnesses and it really is a candid and inspirational read.

She also called me “awesome” which always gets brownie points!

See her original post here

One thing I love about these awards is the questions that follow after as they are, for me at least, a great way of finding out interesting snippets of information that would not be found out in normal circumstances.

So here are the questions asked and my responses to them (I have missed out a question from the original post as it is about immigration in the US)

1. If you were a Disney character, who would you be?

I would say Woody from Toy Story as I am a leader of others, with a strong sense of loyalty to my friends. Like Woody I also have my insecurities about being replaced and forgotten.

Woody

From an entirely visual perspective I can’t help but notice the likeness between the real me and Milo Thatch from Atlantis have a look and see if you agree, It makes me laugh at least!

Milo Thatch picture taken from disneyexperience.com

2. What was your 1st job?

My first paid job was working for waitrose supermarket in one of their stores. I was 15 doing my GCSE’s between shifts and it was one of the best jobs I have had. It was basically a social club with so many students working there.

3. If you had to live in a so called “3rd world country,” which would it be?

I currently live in a “3rd World Country” The way the UK is falling apart we will soon be described as one!

To be honest I couldn’t see myself living in a 3rd world country but I would like to visit the places in Africa where events like Comic Relief have worked to see how it has benefited from aid given by so many people or whether it has gone to waste.

4. Coen or Farrelly Brothers?

Farrelly Brothers every time! Well apart from Miller’s crossing which I love but for me slap stick, gross, close to bone humour is the best kind! I could watch “silly” films by the Farrelly’s all day long! There’s Something about Mary and Dumb and Dumber in particular!

It’s exactly my humour although I rein it in when the need suits of course :-)

5. Favorite baby/child’s book?

As a kid I was not much of a reader I was always outside playing football from dawn till dusk but I loved any books by Roald Dahl the escapism of them all taking you away into another world so different from you own. Getting lost in the books I can say now that my love of books in adulthood stems from reading his books although my reading material of choice is a million miles away! The Twits was one of my all time favourites as I could imaging my own parents pulling the same tricks on each other LOL

6. Favorite non-existent punishment (well, non-existent in “1st world countries”) for monsters who harm the defenseless?

This will not sit well with others I’m sure but here is what I would do if I could

I would put these monsters in a sound proof room with the relatives of their victims for 1 hour and lock the door.

It would certainly save a lot of tax payers money keeping these “people” in prison.

7. What’s your favorite thing to do that is not strictly legal?

Hmmmm this is kinda tricky in it definitions because the way I dance should be illegal but I enjoy it anyway! Especially when no one is around to see me “move like Jagger!”

8. What’s an image that depicts how you feel right now?

Photo taken from uncommonhelp.me

This fits in nicely I think, questions about how I feel, where I am going, where I want to be with just a hint of a ray of sunshine on the horizon offering some hope.

9. What’s your favorite ridiculous video?

I don’t have a favourite ridiculous video it is not something I spend time searching the internet for. Here is a video I do like though it’s a music video taken from “Music and Lyrics” and it just makes me laugh out loud when I see it. Hugh Grant is brilliant in this video

Hope you enjoyed this! What question or questions would you ask me to find out something unusual? you can comment and ask me or use the Contact page and contact me via Facebook or email.