Into the Avalanche…?!

This morning, I was slowly getting ready to go out on a solo walk, which I hadn’t done for two weekends. When I say ‘slowly’, I mean that I didn’t end up leaving the house until close to midday (procrastination, etc.). Ten minutes in to the thirty-minute drive and a text comes through on my phone. Out of curiosity, I have to take a look and I see it’s from one of my good friends, asking simply whether I was busy today. So, I safely pulled over and responded. Now, I wouldn’t ordinarily do this in many situations and drastically change my day but for a friend like that, I’ll gladly make an effort.

We ended up sitting and talking in the city before heading off to watch a film – something we’d already done twice within the past four weeks! It’s not long since I arrived home from the day, which I did enjoy. But during the drive back, all I could think about was how much I just wanted to be sat write here, writing this…

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Something New

It’s been a few weeks since I last logged-in and wrote here and that also means that you’ve ‘missed’ the end to my CBT course. It was strange last week; to arrive home on a Monday evening with nowhere to go… At the same time though, it was welcome to have an evening at the start of a long week where I could just relax!

As that course ended, we were encouraged to ‘fill that space’ with something. If we’re able to allow ourselves to spend two hours of one evening each week on doing something that we want to do; an activity from which we’ll benefit then surely, that space remains available for a different activity.

I’ve been aware (and interested) that Positive Step offer an eight-week course in Mindfulness. But attending that course is not as straight-forward as you might expect… A telephone conversation/interview with the course leader is required before hand, so that you can both assess whether it will suit you personally. Because it requires quite a commitment for anyone not currently practising on a very regular basis… You’re required to practice mindfulness for forty-five minutes each and every night in your own spare time! But also, the next course doesn’t start until the new year and so, that would’ve been a rather long wait.

I don’t see any personal benefit from the Anger Management course (which they’ve recently renamed) and without repeating either of the two courses I’ve already completed, that would leave me with just the Assertiveness course to follow… Which I’ve decided to ‘postpone’ for the time being, simply because it is the one offering that involves ROLE PLAY!! :-S

Anyway, this week – tonight, in fact – I’ve begun a new regular dose of doing something that benefits me…

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‘Best of You’ – Foo Fighters

As I was heading towards Bristol last night and on towards a gig I’d been invited to earlier in the day, this song came on the radio, not long after I left home. You probably all know it. I mean, it’s been pretty well known for the last… Nine-years?! It’s another one of those songs that seems to appear at just the right time and, listening to it on this occasion, I felt there was a lot that I could relate to currently (I’m okay).

I was never a huge fan of this song and much preferred some of the other tracks from the same album (I think DOA was one). It’s interesting how songs can suddenly reach out to you like that. Reading through the lyrics this morning, I can’t decide who the song is written for or about… It seems almost like the emotions and guilt are being exchanged between two people throughout the verses. But, that could simply be my misinterpretation!

Last night, I was invited to see the Martin Harley Band at The Fleece in Bristol. My friend had a spare ticket and I was intrigued as soon as I heard that they were rock-inspired blues, or vice-versa! An excellent band. I enjoyed the night and the music, if not the experience of having to stand up all night (not like at the Grain Barge, where we’re usually in early enough to pinch a seat). Martin (the front man) is very smartly dressed compared to the others. Leading from the back, they have a proper rock and roll drummer who was entertainment to watch on his own! Their bass player was more ‘timid’ (sitting down) by comparison and they had another guitarist with them for a few songs.

There was a one-man act before them (sorry, I forget his name but he was Irish and had O’something as his surname…) and he was quite the guitar player/string picker/whatever term people use! Standing right in front of the stage didn’t bother me, even though the volume was up so loud that you could barely hear the vocals at times. There were a couple of people bouncing around us and both my friend and I received the odd elbow in the back and torso but I realised a few things last night… To enjoy live music, you don’t ‘have’ to be like those people. You don’t have to appear as though you’re having the time of your life and you certainly don’t need alcohol. I realised that you don’t need to stare at any band member in particular either. Kind of like meditation; I can keep my eyes on the stage, allow my focus to fade and then, just listen to the music more clearly.

Below, are the lyrics to Best of You by the Foo Fighters.

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First Step

Before I disappear to clean up and get ready to head our later for a gig I’ve been invited to this evening, I’d like to sit here and attempt to collect my thoughts on my experience during week one of the Anxiety Management course; funded by the NHS and available locally through Positive Step.

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Walking with the Animals

It’s not long since I arrived home from my first group CBT session with Positive Step (at the time I began writing this, anyway). That’s an experience I’ll have to share with you another time and hopefully tomorrow evening. I know; I really should write about it now while it’s fresh in my mind but, I like to try and keep my posts in chronological order and there may be something to gain from twenty-four hours of hindsight and reflection. It’s a very positive experience so far though. 🙂

Before I go on, I’d just like to apologise to anyone who may have been affected or ‘triggered’ by the subject of my previous post. I did hope that the headline would be enough to ‘warn’ people without placing a ‘TW’ in the opening paragraph but it has received a more minute response than I would’ve expected. I’m sorry if it did affect anyone in any way. This is an on-going situation where it’s hard for me to accept that there’s only so-much I can do to help someone I care about. Someone I’m concerned for. But, I aim to do everything that I can, as a friend.

Tonight, I want to write about the walk I went on with the group on Sunday. If we weren’t trapped in this winter weather that has spanned almost one-third of a twelve-month period then, I would’ve been able to share some photos with you all.

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Thought Stopping

As I sit here, preparing to write this post, I look forward with no definite plans for the day. It’s been a great weekend so far though, as I’ve managed to see all three of my close friends within less than twenty-four hours (including meeting one of them for the very first time)!

Thought Stopper Wristband

I’d like to start by talking to you about the band I’m wearing around my wrist in the photo above. I apologise that this photo isn’t perfect and you can see large marking where the lens on my phone’s camera is slightly scratched. This is known as a Thought Stopper; an item designed to help those suffering from the likes of depression and anxiety; a means of preventing the need to self-harm.

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Home Is Where the Hiking Is (or Was)

It’s been almost twenty-four hours since I last had anything to eat and I don’t think I managed more than two-hours worth of sleep last night. I left work yesterday feeling ‘a bit ill’ and not-right, before I found myself sat on the toilet and, well, I’ll spare you the details! Needless to say, it’s leave me feeling very weak and ‘hurty’ (like a flu bug) and, as I’m not feeling much better today, it looks like I’ll have to pass on the planned group walk this evening.

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At least now, I have a chance to sit down and write about the walk I went on last Sunday. There aren’t many photos to share but I’ll try to keep you entertained.

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