Monday, 23 December 2013

My last couple of months and my year as whole.

L Oooooo!! Well it's nearly Christmas,that time of year for stuffing as much food as humanly possible down your throat, possibly drinking yourself into a stupor to get through the day with the extended family and receiving presents, hopefully ones you actually want and not re-gifted items, vouchers, socks or some plastic piece of tat bought last minute because the gifter -

A). couldn't be arsed to spend any thought on it
B). politely doesn't like you
C). does like you, but was incredibly busy and felt guilty/or embarrassed to not give you nothing
D). is just plain and simply a lazy so and so.
E). any other reasons I can't be arsed to think of... :)

For me, this time of year is usually a little melancholic.  My birthday was a few days ago... inching ever closer to 40, only 24 short months away. Due to my issues I have tended to take stock of my year and my life and found what a wasted pile of arse nuggets it has been and depression, often very deep, would set in for the rest of the winter. This year, while there was a tiny bit of melancholia, well for me, on my birthday, I am feeling pretty good about myself and where I am at and where my life heading.  

I have been living in my flat for 6 weeks now.  Once I had moved all my belongings in, the past few months of arranging stuff and the actual move caught up with me and I felt mentally shattered.  I felt it on the first Sunday night, like being struck by a wall to my mind.  Had quite a large anxiety attack, but come the next day it subsided.  Once I was finally unpacked and had the flat how I wanted it, I started to be able to relax.  After a month it started to feel like home and now I enjoy it, having my own space.  My two neighbours in ground floor and basement flat have been welcoming and really nice.  I'm actually spending Christmas day with my basement flat neighbour, as we were both going to be home alone, mum is coming over on Boxing Day.  Here is a pic of my flat.

For the first time since starting my Open University degree a few years ago, I have attended 2 tutorials.  Felt quite anxious during the first one, even when being driven there, something I will continue to have until I am able to travel on public transport on my own, and having someone there.  Second one was a little easier.  Hopefully there will be a mostly forward progression as I attend more.  So far I have enjoyed the interaction with fellow students and the tutor, finding it helping to consolidate my learning. Looking forward to the next one in January.

The weekend of the 23rd November was, well just AWESOME!!  I'll explain why, hopefully not too long winded.  For the past couple of years I have been a member of the SFX magazine Forum, an online place for like minded geeks to chat, play games, etc.... Though I'm not sure why I wasn't using it before that, as I have been buying SFX magazine for about 16 years now.  Come to think about it, why was so reluctant tlo use any other social media, as I also joined the Book of Face shortly after and then 8 months after that I joined the online delight that is Twitter.  Anyway... Through these online social portals I began to make many online friends, friends who are now becoming real world ones.  There is an annual weekend get together at some holiday cottages in Chester, from the Friday evening to Monday morning, organised by a couple of lovely forumites.  So this year I decided to try and go, this was back in July when I was only just starting to go beyond my street.  I thought it would be a great incentive for me.  I am so happy I did, because it worked, along with the help and support I had been receiving, I had that extra something to look forward to.  This was the first holiday away I've had since my teens, so this was a big thing for me, holidaying with over 30 others.  The plan for me to travel from Kent to all the way up North was to get a lift to Milton Keynes and then I would be sharing a car with two or my lovely online friends.  Oh and to travel up the Thursday afternoon and stay overnight in Milton Keynes.   For reasons I can only put down to being my stupid brain, I had written down and in my head that it was going to be the weekend of the 30th. I received a text, from said friend in MK, during Thursday, which I didn't read until 6:30pm, saying "How's the journey going?"  So after phoning said friend, feeling stupid and much panicking and frantic packing and more phoning asking for a revised lift to MK, the journey to Chester was really relaxing and anxiety free.  I can't thank enough my travel companions for such a lovely journey.  Yes I know I have used the "Lovely" a lot, but everyone I met during the Geek meet simply was and really welcoming.  I couldn't have been put at more ease.  Everyone there helped me to have the best weekend in years.  A weekend of films, games, food, drink, laughter, a play in the car park oh and the Dr Who 50th.  There were a couple of minor issues, two power cuts, no heating to the bedrooms all weekend, some toilets broken, however, if anything these things helped bond everyone that bit more.  I will DEFINITELY be going again next year.

The other notable thing that has been going on is that I have hosted two dinner parties.  Something I'd never done before.  I thought it'd be a nice way of saying thank you to my family for helping to move here.  Both meals went down very well.  I didn't burn, under cook, spill or poison anyone.

The first meal I cooked was -

Starter - Carrot, orange and Mint soup with a swirl of cream and ciabatta bread
Main - Grilled Salmon with chilli and lime butter on a bed of Basmati rice, with Mediterranean veg
Dessert - Apple crumble and custard, brought by my sister.

My second meal -

Starter - same soup as before
Main - Chicken gumbo with rice
Dessert - again apple crumble and custard

I will be cooking for mum on Boxing day, same main course and dessert as first meal, but with Courgette, potato and cheddar soup for starter.  I plan to cook for friends in the new year.

Well.... My year certainly didn't begin in the best of ways.  I won't explain again, if interested please read my first couple of posts.  But things have definitely turned around and now going in the right direction, FINALLY.  I think if anyone had told me in January that by the end of the year that I would be living in my first flat, going to tutorials, going away on a holiday or let alone cooking a meal for more than me, given I used to just heat things up or be able to go beyond the boundary of my street for any meaningful journey, I would have said "Fuck off."  But here I am and having achieved those things.  I am genuinely looking forwards to the next year, to meeting again and more for the first time my online friends, hanging out with old friends, making strides to be able to travel around on my own and achieving things I haven't thought of.

So if any of you reading this and have problems/issues/troubles in your life and think things aren't going to improve, well they will.  Maybe not imediately, but they will.  Keep striving, don't let the bastards beat and keep you down.


  1. So pleased life is improving. xxx

  2. Great to hear that this Xmas has been less melancholy for you. You've achieved so much this year don't you dare feel depressed lol. Onwards and upwards :). Happy Xmas :)

    1. I won't. And certainly yes, not just for me, you too dude. :) Happy Merry Christmas Casey! :)