A Friends Role is..

How do you define a friend? what role should a friend play in helping you with a mental health illness?

Are you like me and have high expectations of people because you act in a certain way and believe that you should be treated the way you treat others?

I ask because I am starting to wonder what exactly some of my “friends” bring to the table these days.

I like to think I am supportive, and can be called upon to pick up the pieces for a friend in need.

I seem to have lots of toxic friendships, people who seem to think letting me down is okay but worse of all is the people who seem to be able to dish out verbal lashings in the name of “caring”

Sorry but I call bullshit on this! and I am fucking sick and tired of being called stupid, among other things, because I want to try something else to get better.

Firstly if you did care like you proclaim you would already know I have self esteem issues and really do not take kindly to being called names

Secondly telling me I cant do something is akin to waving a red flag at a bull

and more importantly

if you are a friend you would fucking support me not wait for the time to say “I told you so”

I seem to have too many friends who only need me when it suits them but now I am thinking and seeing a lot more clearly and toxicity has no place in my life at the moment.

So put simply, the days of me chasing after friends and being the only person who actually makes any effort to communicate are in the past.

If you think something I am doing is stupid support me anyway because I can guarantee you that there are stupid things you have done during our friendship that I have been there and picked you up afterwards!

The sad things about this rant is that it is not aimed at a single person but quite a few

So my message is as follows

Support me or fuck off!

and now i wait for the people who assume this is aimed at them to go on the defensive… funny how guilt makes people react isn’t it……

Operation Get My Arse In Gear Is All Systems Go

Despite the year starting as the last one finished I have now started the process of getting my shit together again and trying to move forwards, making up for lost time spent under a black cloud the past few weeks.

Today I went back to the Dr and finally told them how things REALLY are and what a struggle it has been, and still is to an extent. The great thing about doing this blog is that I can go back over the posts and spot the signs of when things are heading downhill so I am fully aware when the cycle changes from average to shit again. Okay maybe sometimes they are good too…

This week has been really positive in terms of shaping the future, short term at least because that is what needs concentrating on.

It is amazing how much the mood can turn when someone goes out of their way for you, my confidence has gone through the roof since miss cougar stayed. It was lovely to realise that I AM attractive and do have something to offer and that feeling of the shackles being snapped off in terms of the past few months was as much as a relief as knowing I do not have blue balls anymore…..

I have wallowed in low self esteem for too long, but in many ways I tend to force myself to rock bottom from time to time and I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to my depression. If I ever get of the fucking waiting list for therapy I will make sure this is explored further.

Speaking of therapy, surely almost 2 years of waiting is long enough? In that time I have had 2 “initial assessments” but the wait goes on.. something that I mentioned to my GP today.

I have a few ambitions for this year, money allowing and want to visit some places in the UK at some point. Once I get these poxy loans paid off I intend to start booking train tickets. I especially want to visit Newcastle as I have a HUGE thing for the geordie accent so would be in heaven up there. Bournemouth, Ireland and Liverpool (Irish and scouse accents are 2 and 3 on my list!) are also must see places this year for me. So any readers with a spare room and a love for jack daniels and cleaning up moose sick please get in touch!

As far as the loans go it is amazing how people with such bad credit get accepted in the first place but I have managed to clear 2 so far with 2 to go, I am touched at the people who sent me donations via this blog which were used to clear some of the payments off.  I am working my butt off to clear the others asap. Another example of being my own worst enemy. I am pleased that there is only one arsehole who tries to put me down via this blog, Asylum Heaven kindly fuck off with the comments they are trashed before approval anyway. Most people are not judgmental and understand  the issues I have are linked to my cycles of depression but for those who want to try and make me feel worse with your comments..I wouldnt waste your time because your comments wont be approved so you are wasting your time.

Things are improving day by day, I am in contact with more people and have had a few visitors to Moose Mansion already this year with a big one next weekend when a great friend from Ireland is coming to stay! It is important to have something to look forward to and I know she cannot wait to spend time with me :D

Being famoose does have it perks! I will be strolling into Macdonalds with her using the old “dont you know who I am?” line to get a free bigmac or 2, failing that I will be walking out with more straws than I will ever need, who doesn’t love a freebie!

While I remember I have a facebook page that you should like if you are on there – for no other reason than I am a numbers whore click here to find it and share with the world! I am also still looking for guest posts for this blog, on any subject about depression, how you deal with it, if you look after someone with depression, how you cope with a partner etc etc

I love being able to give people a voice and cannot recommend enough trying to write to release some shit from your chest, it has worked wonders for me time and time again so dont be shy get in touch and send me your words of magic!

As we leave January behind and enter February remember that the year has still only just begun, things can get better if we give ourselves a little time and not expect overnight change – hard as that can be at time.

Here is hoping that I can create plenty of memories this year to share with you, even involving some of you as well – what would be better than a mooseketeers get together in London at some point!  Imagine that we can all wear something moose related and take the big smoke by storm!

And if miss cougar is reading this….maybe you can work some magic on the antlers this weekend!

flaccid-moose

 

500…

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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!

Broken Tooth, No Broken Spirit

Nine days till Christmas and I have no intention of putting up a tree this year, as Brandon will be spending the holidays at his mum’s I will be alone for most of the Christmas period, so I really don’t want to look at a tree which is meant to celebrate a time for family.

It was my choice for him to spend most of the time away as I know I will be a miserable bastard and did not want it to impact on him, as my childhood memories of Christmas heavily influence my hatred for this time of year. Better he is with his mum who does a great job with Christmas than to be here with me impersonating the grinch.

Things are good apart from the fact that I broke a tooth at the weekend eating maltesers and as someone who has not seen a dentist for about 7 years I can tell you what great news this was! However being a good boy I was on the phone to them at 8 am this morning and have an appointment for tomorrow where I can look forward to an extraction, I assume, and a lecture (wohooo, I really love those)

On top of this I really have to let some steam off and moan about people. I am really sick of people using me for when it suits them, as an example I have spoken to three suicidal people in the past month and offered them support and an ear, yet do I hear from them again? Seems the majority people are only interested in me when it suits them not when I need someone.

I am getting to the stage where I am not sure that continuing with this blog, and being readily available for people, is such a good option for me. As much as I have enjoyed helping people it pisses me off that these people then avoid me, especially at times when I have asked for help myself. I am happy to give but there are times when it is needed to reciprocated and all too often that is not forthcoming and I am (finally) learning that the only person I can really rely on is myself.

I have “friends” abusing me because I wont give them what they want and do things the way they want them and the selfishness nature of people is grinding me down, more and more I am letting people walk away from me because I just cannot be arsed with arguing and defending myself.

People tend to forget that I have issues that need working on, but the moment I have a bad time I am the bad guy.

All I ask from people is effort, and nothing less than I would put in, but for plenty of people it appears to be an unacceptable request. Give and take is all well and good when it is shared equally, all too often this is not happening.

I am in a pretty good place currently though, despite the broken tooth and I can see things so much better now in terms of how people act around me. I feel stronger than I have felt in a long time, and I am preparing myself to get through the next few weeks when I will feel particularly vulnerable and lonely. I feel able to drop people without it causing me pangs of guilt, even more so when I am not in the wrong! The days of me chasing after people because I want attention all gone, the days of me reaching out to people because I am needy and alone are gone. If people don’t want to talk to me for whatever reason that is fine with me.

I have survived because I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I am a better person than I give myself credit for and its time I gave the people who go out of their way for me more attention because it is those people who deserve it.

When I say I don’t give a fuck anymore I honestly mean it. I will not allow people to affect my mood anymore.

And for those who don’t like it – please do not let the door hit you on the way out..

And for the people I know will stand by me just remember…

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Successful Operation

You will be pleased to hear that the operation undertaken over the weekend was a complete success with no complications…

ladies and gentlemen I am very pleased to announce that I have been given the all clear

My head has been completely removed from my arse!

Normal service is now being resumed and I am back to feeling strong again, strong enough to remember why I started this blog in the first place – to help other people.

Lots of people I know are struggling at the moment as the winter draws in and the nights come earlier.

Please never feel like you are alone, I am easily contactable and always willing to lend an ear to people.

I am very lucky in the sense that i do not get triggered by other people and I am happy to listen to anyone in need, I may actually be of help as I have been known to offer some good advice from time to time.

Come and find me on my facebook page here and feel free to message me anytime if you need someone to talk to.

Yes I am aware that I have some issues of my own to be resolved but that is being dealt with in a crash course of “no longer give a fuck” so please do not think I am not able to be there for you. Distract me all you want as long as you need someone I am available.

If you do not have facebook then feel free to email me using the form below and we can go from there.

 

Image Credit: Google

 

 

Remember….

Remember when I had lots to say and was inspired to write daily?

Remember when I was an avid reader and commented regularly on blogs?

Remember when all I could talk about was how shit things were and how down I was feeling?

Remember when I was happily married and had my kids around me?

Well things change and so do people….

I have changed, back into the man I used to be, the fun loving guy who wants to be out flirting, chatting and drinking, socialising with friends and/or making new friends.

I can look back at the past few months and feel amazed that I have made it though, despite the odd blip.

Yes I still get spells of feeling down, I’m in recovery from depression and it is something that will always try and come back if I allow it to, but I have some very very good friends and a great support network of people who just wont allow me to wallow.

I am focusing on the people in my life as they are now, not on how I remember them because changes are happening to them that I do not like, in some cases. This works is my favour as it is now easier to let them sail off into the sunset.

I’m moving on, letting go and using my energy on people who want to be in my life rather than wondering why certain people behave the way they do. I have spent too much of my time bemoaning a lack of friends and support etc because it was not coming from areas where I expected it to. Not anymore my friends.

People change for better or for worse, as for this person the change in me has been a positive one, I cant wait for the next chapter in my story to begin….

to those who have supported me I am sorry I didn’t focus enough on you instead of focusing on others. Believe me when you need me just say the word and I will be there.

For the others…too late moosey is gone…..

I feel good. I feel positive. Forget remembering the past time to focus on the here and now!

10 Days of Happiness

Guess who’s back, back again
Moose’s back, tell a friend
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back,
Guess who’s back. Guess who’s back?

 

For as long as I can remember I have not felt this strong mentally. The shock of what happened 10 days has been to such an extent that the Garry who wallowed with his depression, lazing around on his backside all day and expecting things to come to him and be done for him has seeming packed his bags and moved on.

I have rediscover my love for myself, my confidence and, more importantly rediscovered Garry of old.

I have complete sympathy for Mrs Moose and understand why she had to walk away, for too long has she been a mother, wife, housekeeper and unable to look after herself because the man she fell in love in had turned into a shell of that person. I should have been more aware of her needs but as we all know depression is one selfish bastard of an illness and its hard to focus on other things when we are so busy just clinging on to the edge before we drop off. Yet now I see everything so clearly now, and giving up has never been my style. We finally spoke face to face and will be trying again in a few weeks after she has returned from a much needed holiday where she can recharge her batteries.

How on earth can you love someone who hates themselves? quite simply you cannot and poor Sheryl has been completely run down trying to deal with me and not having enough time for herself, or even quality Garry and Sheryl time. This will change, now is time for me to step up and be the protector and not the protected.

Whilst I can appreciate her apprehension, as obviously words are easy to say, believe me when I tell you all that never again will she feel so alone in our marriage. There are numerous posts on this blog explaining how I feel (and have always felt) about her and just the fact that she is giving us one last try is welcome news to me because she is my soul mate, my best friend and my shining light.

She makes me want to be a better person and you cannot ask for anymore from a partner. I have changed so much because of her over the years into a much better version of Garry, ask ex partners LOL they will tell you what a different man I am since being with her.

My relationship with Brandon is getting back on track as well, we have had a great 10 days of being just the two of us, and once the shock of seeing Dad with an Iron in his hand subsided he has been brilliant. His room even managed to find the carpet that once was visible under all his shit and he has kept it clean too!

While I am not naive enough to think I have beaten depression I can finally tell the world how fucking good I feel currently because I haven’t had a 10 day cycle of feeling this great for years! 

The strength, the laughter, the “don’t give a fuck” attitude, the smile and the being able to look at the person in the mirror and like what i see has returned and depression can, quite simply, go fuck itself.

With the support of some amazing friends, people who have only recently come into the moose’s world at that has been a huge part of this and my advice to anyone reading this with depression wondering what the biggest thing for me was is to get out there and make friends, find a support network and you will be amazed by the level of support you receive from strangers who suddenly become the best of friends.

Ant, Maria, WeeGee, Amy, Jamie, Kimmy, Gary, Emmy, the moose and friends support group on Facebook i run and others i forgot to mention have been amazing and really stood up for moose. While others have disappointed me with their disappearances I am too busy focusing on those who were there for me to care about you. “friends” who have always come to me for support who simply deserted me the past week or so, I don’t forget these things in a hurry….

Man oh man the moose sounds bitter doesn’t he lol

I can see all the faults I have had over the past 3 years or more, all the negative things I have said and done and at the same time I am fucking amazed at what I have achieved too! 

I have also not paid to play bingo in 10 days! more success on the road to recovery…

Moose likes Moose again and this is the biggest victory of them all!

 

 

Help! I think I have Depression…

Of all the messages I have received from people since starting this blog the thing that is asked most to me is the question of whether that person has depression. This stems from recognising a lot of themselves in my posts and it is great that people feel confident enough in me to reach out and ask for my advice. It is not as easy as you think contacting a complete stranger and asking for help, you just don’t know how that person will respond. Will they ignore your message, or dismiss you out of hand? so kudos to everyone who has ever sent me a message, I hope in my own way I have helped…

So what do you do if you think you have depression?

Believe it or not the fact that you have asked yourself that question is the first and hardest part of your journey. It is all to easy to simply dismiss the issue and put it down to sadness, but when you are feeling low for days/weeks/months on end with no change then that should be the warning sign you need to consider depression as the cause.

Depression is one of those things that will not go away if you ignore it! (a bit like me!)

What next?

This is where I come in handy! if you click PHQ9_depression you will find a questionnaire that is used by your GP to assess whether you are depressed and if so to what extent. Answer the questions with complete honesty and work out your score. Depending on that score you speak to your GP as soon as possible.

When I first saw my GP about depression I was in the early 20s!

Talk to my GP? <Shudders>

Whilst I appreciate how difficult this can be for people what you need to remember is that they have heard it all before from other patients. They will not judge you any differently for opening up about this nor will they call the men in white coats to take you away!

Most GP’s will be kind and understanding about it, i say most because the wife was once told she wasn’t depressed but “suffering from the stress of life”!! but the majority will help you and determine whether you need to be prescribed anything. Some surgeries even have GP’s who specalise in Mental Health so you could ask to see them if you do not want to see your normal doctor ask at the reception where they can advise you.

Whilst you are meeting your GP remember to tell them everything, holding things back from them because you feel embarrassed or ashamed will not help you get better. Tell yourself that they have heard or seen worse and let it out! I cried like a baby when I finally spoke to my GP, it was a feeling of relief to not have to hold it in anymore and knowing that there was actually something wrong with me! I no longer had to hide my condition, I was just pleased I wasn’t going mad like I thought at one point!

Antidepressants? good or bad?

I can only speak as I find and for me antidepressants have been good! I did suffer from a side effect from the first ones I was put on but after speaking to my doctor I simply changed them onto ones that work just fine.  I notice if I do not take my tablets like I am supposed to, which indicates they do the job as far as helping me goes.

Take them if prescribed and talk to your GP about any concerns you have!

Talking about depression?

Telling your friends/ partner / family is a difficult decision with all the stigma attached BUT in my experience it is better to be open about your condition especially to those affected by you on a daily basis. Not only does it help you by not having to hide it, they will be able to offer you support. Well some people will and others not so much but then the ignorance of others is not your fault (my great-uncle for example is in his 80′s and does not believe in depression!), those who matter will be there for you in the long run.

As far as I am concerned the more people we have talking about depression, especially men, the better. I would love it to become an everyday topic of conversation instead of the taboo subject it currently is.

Talking about it will actually benefit you! Believe me when I tell you that sharing your thoughts and issues will make it easier for your recovery. This blog is an example of how much talking about depression will help! It was the best decision I ever made to start sharing my battle with other because things do not sit on my mind and weight my down, I blog about it and it is off my chest and that improves my state of mind!

If you are not sure about the benefits of writing how about doing a guest post for me to see how cathartic it can be!

If all else fails you can always contact me but remember that I am a sufferer of depression and not a medical professional and I will always direct you to see a doctor! but I will always answer any questions as best I can!

So there you have it! looks nice and easy doesn’t it?

I know it isn’t easy but think how much better you could feel if you take that all important first step. After the first step the rest gets easier because you will be getting stronger for acknowledging the issue!

ASKING FOR HELP IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH NOT WEAKNESS!

and may I be the first to wish you the best of luck on your journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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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