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Blog Mental Health Personal

A Week Without Self-harm

Photo by Hailey Kean on Unsplash

Well, it is now 11 pm on Monday 5th April and it is 7 whole days (give or take a few minutes) since I last self-harmed by cutting myself. Yay for me!

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Uncategorized

Loneliness

“Loneliness is a hot topic. There’s no questioning the significant negative social, health and economic hurt caused by ‘the loneliness epidemic,’ and many community leaders and third-sector organisations are calling for greater acknowledgement of this social issue, and investment in initiatives to tackle loneliness. But a question that isn’t asked as often is, do we actually know how to effectively tackle loneliness?”

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“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” – Decouvertes

I found these questions on Pinterest (the magical place — and frequently rabbit hole — where you can literally find anything).

I want to write something more about me and you should do it too!

Write your answers in the comment section below

Q 1. Do you prefer writing with black or blue pen?

— Black ink.

Q 2. Would you prefer to live in the country or the city?

— Oh the country definitely preferably on an island!

Q 3. If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?

— Learn to play the Hurdy-Gurdy.

Q 4. Do you drink your tea or coffee with sugar?

— No sugar or milk in either coffee or tea.

Q 5. What was your favourite book as a child?

— Hard one! The Hobbit? Or anything by Enid Blyton.

Q 6. Do you prefer baths or showers?

— Shower followed by long bath.

Q 7. If you could be a mythical creature, which would you choose?

— Faerie of Seelie Court (more beneficently inclined, but still dangerous).

Q 8. Do you prefer reading paper or electronic books?

— Both. Though I tend to read more non-fiction on my device than fiction.

Q 9. What is your favourite item of clothing?

— Biker jacket.

Q 10. Do you like your name? Would you ever change it?

— Already changed it. My “real” name is Mark (I was in a group of people with 5 other Marks in it which was confusing).

Q 11. Who is a mentor to you?

— I have several who I look to – Deanna, Ian, and Julia from the Hero Project. Maff and Jenny from Camerados.

Q 12. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, what for?

— Famous? Too much hassle!

Q 13. Are you a restless sleeper?

— Yes – I average 4—5 hours a night (that is after taking sleeping tablet and pain killers). Too many years on night shift messed up my Circadian Rhythm.

Q 14. Do you consider yourself a romantic?

— A hopeless romantic.

Q 15. Which element best represents you?

— Water. Flowing water usually represents change and the passage of time.

Q 16. Who do you want to be closer to?

— My friends.

Q 17. Do you miss someone at the moment?

— Yes. My parents and a certain person I care deeply about but doesn’t know it.

Q 18. Tell us about an early childhood memory.

— When I was 14, on holiday near Wakefield and meeting my first real love.

Q 19. What is the strangest thing you have eaten?

– Snake.

Q 20. What can you see outside your bedroom window?

— Car park, playing fields, houses — live on 9th floor.

Q 21. What are you most thankful for?

— My late parents, my true friends, and being alive after heart attack and several suicide attempts.

Q 22. Do you like spicy food?

— Oh yes!

Q 23. Have you ever met someone famous?

— Several — including Lemmy, Yoko Ono, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman.

Q 24. Do you keep a diary or journal?

— I keep a Bullet Journal and an Art Journal.

Q 25. Do you prefer to use pen or pencil?

— Pen – preferably a fountain pen.

Q 26. What is your star sign?

Aries as far as I remember.

Q 27. Do you like your cereal crunchy or soggy?

— Well, as I eat porridge 6 days a week – soggyish with a bit of crunch – crushed nuts etc.

Q 28. What would you want your legacy to be?

— “They did their best”.

Q 29. Do you like reading? What was the last thing you read/are reading?

— Reading is all! Always have 2 books on the go — one fiction and one non-fiction. Curently both books that I’m reading deal with the topic of loneliness. Adam Thorpe’s Missing Fay (Fic) and A Certain Loneliness by Sandra Gail Lambert (Non-Fic).

Q 30. How do you show someone you love them?

— Being there for them. Letters postcards etc.

Q 31. Do you like ice in your drinks?

— Yes, I do – but not in Hot Chocolate!

Q 32. What are you afraid of?

— Being forgotten.

Q 33. What is your favourite scent?

— My favourite scent is freshly baked bread.

Q 34. Do you address older people by their first or last name?

— It depends on the person, how well and how long I’ve known them and also their preference.

Q 35. If money was not a factor, how would you live your life?

— Travelling the world – meeting new people, learning about Social Change in different places.

Q 36. Do you prefer swimming in pools or in the ocean?

— The ocean.

Q 37. What would you do if you found £50 on the ground?

— Hand in to police and if not claimed give it to charity.

Q 38. Have you ever seen a shooting star? Did you make a wish?

Yes, I have. Yes I made a wish (didn’t come true).

Q 39. What is one thing you would want to teach your children?

— Kindness.

Q 40. If you had to have a tattoo, what would it be and where would you get it?

— Already have some. Though I do want more. Thinking of a Tolkien inspired one or maybe a Fuchsia from Titus Groan one.

Q 41. What can you hear right now?

Traffic nine floors below me. Plus Grateful Dead on my music system.

Q 42. Where do you feel the safest?

— Home – sometimes.

Q 43. What is one thing you want to overcome/conquer?

— My shyness.

Q 44. If you could travel back to any era, which would you choose?

The Renaissance

Q 45. What is your most used emoji?

— :-/

Q 46. What is your favourite season? Why?

— Autumn for the colours.

47. How would you spend your ideal day?

With friends having food, drink, chatting, or in companionable silence.

Q 48. Describe yourself using one word.

— Oddbod.

Q 49. What do you regret the most?

— Not telling people how much I loved and cared for them often enough.

Q 50. Invent your own word. What does it mean?

— Frontagery – when you put on a front/attitude that all is well when in fact inside you are a mess.

Add your answers in the comment section even if it’s just one or two of them.

Try it as a personal reflection piece — you don’t have to show it to anyone.

Talk to me on my social media accounts!

Twitter : SocialHermitCal

Categories
Uncategorized

“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” – Decouvertes

I found these questions on Pinterest (the magical place — and frequently rabbit hole — where you can literally find anything).

I want to write something more about me and you should do it too!

Write your answers in the comment section below

Q 1. Do you prefer writing with black or blue pen?

— Black ink.

Q 2. Would you prefer to live in the country or the city?

— Oh the country definitely preferably on an island!

Q 3. If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?

— Learn to play the Hurdy-Gurdy.

Q 4. Do you drink your tea or coffee with sugar?

— No sugar or milk in either coffee or tea.

Q 5. What was your favourite book as a child?

— Hard one! The Hobbit? Or anything by Enid Blyton.

Q 6. Do you prefer baths or showers?

— Shower followed by long bath.

Q 7. If you could be a mythical creature, which would you choose?

— Faerie of Seelie Court (more beneficently inclined, but still dangerous).

Q 8. Do you prefer reading paper or electronic books?

— Both. Though I tend to read more non-fiction on my device than fiction.

Q 9. What is your favourite item of clothing?

— Biker jacket.

Q 10. Do you like your name? Would you ever change it?

— Already changed it. My “real” name is Mark (I was in a group of people with 5 other Marks in it which was confusing).

Q 11. Who is a mentor to you?

— I have several who I look to – Deanna, Ian, and Julia from the Hero Project. Maff and Jenny from Camerados.

Q 12. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, what for?

— Famous? Too much hassle!

Q 13. Are you a restless sleeper?

— Yes – I average 4—5 hours a night (that is after taking sleeping tablet and pain killers). Too many years on night shift messed up my Circadian Rhythm.

Q 14. Do you consider yourself a romantic?

— A hopeless romantic.

Q 15. Which element best represents you?

— Water. Flowing water usually represents change and the passage of time.

Q 16. Who do you want to be closer to?

— My friends.

Q 17. Do you miss someone at the moment?

— Yes. My parents and a certain person I care deeply about but doesn’t know it.

Q 18. Tell us about an early childhood memory.

— When I was 14, on holiday near Wakefield and meeting my first real love.

Q 19. What is the strangest thing you have eaten?

– Snake.

Q 20. What can you see outside your bedroom window?

— Car park, playing fields, houses — live on 9th floor.

Q 21. What are you most thankful for?

— My late parents, my true friends, and being alive after heart attack and several suicide attempts.

Q 22. Do you like spicy food?

— Oh yes!

Q 23. Have you ever met someone famous?

— Several — including Lemmy, Yoko Ono, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman.

Q 24. Do you keep a diary or journal?

— I keep a Bullet Journal and an Art Journal.

Q 25. Do you prefer to use pen or pencil?

— Pen – preferably a fountain pen.

Q 26. What is your star sign?

Aries as far as I remember.

Q 27. Do you like your cereal crunchy or soggy?

— Well, as I eat porridge 6 days a week – soggyish with a bit of crunch – crushed nuts etc.

Q 28. What would you want your legacy to be?

— “They did their best”.

Q 29. Do you like reading? What was the last thing you read/are reading?

— Reading is all! Always have 2 books on the go — one fiction and one non-fiction. Curently both books that I’m reading deal with the topic of loneliness. Adam Thorpe’s Missing Fay (Fic) and A Certain Loneliness by Sandra Gail Lambert (Non-Fic).

Q 30. How do you show someone you love them?

— Being there for them. Letters postcards etc.

Q 31. Do you like ice in your drinks?

— Yes, I do – but not in Hot Chocolate!

Q 32. What are you afraid of?

— Being forgotten.

Q 33. What is your favourite scent?

— My favourite scent is freshly baked bread.

Q 34. Do you address older people by their first or last name?

— It depends on the person, how well and how long I’ve known them and also their preference.

Q 35. If money was not a factor, how would you live your life?

— Travelling the world – meeting new people, learning about Social Change in different places.

Q 36. Do you prefer swimming in pools or in the ocean?

— The ocean.

Q 37. What would you do if you found £50 on the ground?

— Hand in to police and if not claimed give it to charity.

Q 38. Have you ever seen a shooting star? Did you make a wish?

Yes, I have. Yes I made a wish (didn’t come true).

Q 39. What is one thing you would want to teach your children?

— Kindness.

Q 40. If you had to have a tattoo, what would it be and where would you get it?

— Already have some. Though I do want more. Thinking of a Tolkien inspired one or maybe a Fuchsia from Titus Groan one.

Q 41. What can you hear right now?

Traffic nine floors below me. Plus Grateful Dead on my music system.

Q 42. Where do you feel the safest?

— Home – sometimes.

Q 43. What is one thing you want to overcome/conquer?

— My shyness.

Q 44. If you could travel back to any era, which would you choose?

The Renaissance

Q 45. What is your most used emoji?

— :-/

Q 46. What is your favourite season? Why?

— Autumn for the colours.

47. How would you spend your ideal day?

With friends having food, drink, chatting, or in companionable silence.

Q 48. Describe yourself using one word.

— Oddbod.

Q 49. What do you regret the most?

— Not telling people how much I loved and cared for them often enough.

Q 50. Invent your own word. What does it mean?

— Frontagery – when you put on a front/attitude that all is well when in fact inside you are a mess.

Add your answers in the comment section even if it’s just one or two of them.

Try it as a personal reflection piece — you don’t have to show it to anyone.

Talk to me on my social media accounts!

Twitter : Camerados_Hermit

Instagram : Camerados_Hermit

Categories
Blog Friends Personal

Lonely is the Hardest

Look out the window at the crowded streets below
Seems everybody has someplace to go.
Look in the mirror with far away eyes
Cry in silence at a wasted life.
Do you believe when I tell you
That lonely is the hardest.
Do you believe when I tell you
That lonely is the hardest state of all.
Suzi Quatro ‘Lonely is the Hardest’


Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

Well, today is my 59th birthday and like pretty much every day of the year I’m spending it alone.

Since losing my parents in 2008 I lost what little contact I had with my aunts, uncles, and cousins – they never really bothered with me before then anyway. I was always the black sheep of the family.

As for friends? Well, I lost a lot of the fair-weather type friends when I lost my job in 2013 following my heart attack. I still see them around the area but they never bother to speak.

Other friends drifted away when my health — both physical and mental — started to decline. I’ve made new friends through my voluntary work but they mostly live a couple of hundred miles away so socializing is difficult 😔. The few that live closer involve a train journey costing £15 return, which having to survive on the pittance paid by ESA benefit is a lot of money!

For people in the 35 – 60 age range there is very little provision for combatting loneliness and isolation. Everything seems to be aimed at those 65+.

So, yet again I’ll be spending my birthday alone. As indeed I spend my life. The only social interaction I’ve had this month is 90 minutes talking with fellow volunteers at a group 50 miles from my home. So yeah, I’m feeling down on what should be a happy day.

Categories
Blog Personal

Use the KonMari Method to Tidy Your Mind

Your home is living space, not storage space.

Francine Jay

Hoarding Disorder. 1) Hoarding is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. Mayo Clinic.
Hoarding Word Cloud - words associated with hoarding disorder.

As someone whose OCD manifests as hoarding (as the few people I’ve ever let in my flat can testify), this article by Brad Stulberg for Outdoors magazine so resonates with me!

“There’s growing evidence that a cluttered home or workplace is a stressful one. A recent DePaul University study found that physical clutter is linked with procrastination and, in turn, lower life satisfaction. Other research shows that clutter is associated with elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”

“Sparking joy: use Marie Kondo’s approach to declutter your mind.
Along with owning too much stuff, we also pile unreasonable demands on our time. It’s time to limit our focuses.”

Categories
Blog Personal

Time is a Great Healer…?

A great article on grief. I wish this site had been up in 2008.

No, time definitely isn’t a “great healer”! Last week was the 11th anniversary of my mother’s death and the pain is still as raw. I had the 11th anniversary of my mam’s death in February. I’m still grieving 11 years on. I couldn’t grieve properly for my mum as I had to be strong for my dad who was disabled. Then he died 5 months later.

After my dad’s funeral ended I went home alone – not one of my uncles,aunts, cousins said okay do you want to come back to ours. If it hadn’t been for 4 of my parent’s elderly frirnds helping me over the following days I would have ended my own life. My relations said “We’ll be in touch” 11 years on and I’m still waiting.

There hardly any counselling provision in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I got 3 short sessions from the Carer’s Centre and that was it.

At least this year I didn’t self-harm or overdose on the anniversary – lets see if I can do the same next year!

http://www.sadsaturation.org/2018/03/time-is-agreat-healer.html?showComment=1550575129712#c920648646482405200

Categories
Blog Disability

New Inquest Into Ella Kissi-Debrah’s Death

This is utterly groundbreaking. The Ella Roberta Family have won the right to another inquest into the death of their daughter Ella. The Attorney General said “I have concluded that there is new evidence which may alter the substantial truth of Ella’s death”.
He went on “I am therefore able to give my permission for an application to the High Court to request a new inquest, based on the evidential test being met.” His report said there was a “real prospect that without unlawful levels of air pollution, Ella would not have died”.

New Inquest Into Ella Kissi-Debrah’s Death

Categories
Blog Personal

We drank a toast to innocence —We drank a toast to time — Reliving, in our eloquence — Another “Auld Lang Syne”

I had planned on my first post of 2019 being a somewhat optimistic one — looking forward to what this new yeat will bring. However, when the time came I couldn’t face pretending to be cheery.

So, I’ve spent the the first day of 2019 just as I spent the last day of 2018 — alone. Which is pretty much how I spent most days last year and indeed the past 10 years. I know my mental health issues at times make me hard work at times, but it would be nice if friends I’ve known for years actually bothered with me and occasionally asked if I’d like to be involved. I generally enjoy being alone but I dislike being lonely.

Looking at some of my IRL friends posting Facebook/Twitter on NYE saying how much they were enjoying themselves with other of my IRL friends at various bars,club etc. Not once thinking of asking if I’d like to be with them. A couple of my friends do make an effort and I love them for it.

Especially sad to see people I thought were close friends posting about being together in a pub on NYE only 10-15 minutes away from my place. Obviously I’m no longer good enough for them to ask “Hey bro want to join us?”

Then there are the fairweather friends who don’t bother with me now because I’m no longer working and thus unable to take them out for drinks or buy them things.

So, I spent NYE alone in my flat, demolishing a bottle of vodka and 10 cans of ale — finally fell asleep about 7am this morning. Woke around 1pm and felt no different.

I don’t plan on doing anything until next week. I need to think things through and come to decisions about both my future and my so-called “friendships”.

How wonderful to start the year on a downer! Then again, a great deal of Bipolar Life is a downer!

Anyway, rant/moan/whinge over — sorry to bored you! Have a good 2019! Hopefully, by this time next week I’ll be in a better mood!

Categories
Blog Personal

Hark, it’s midnight, children dear. Duck! Here comes another year!

If you start listening to “Ride” by Lane Del Rey at exactly 12:58:31 on New Year’s Eve, you can sing along to “I am alone at midnight” at exactly midnight. Start your New Year honestly.