The Let-Down

Think back to a time when you have felt your heart has been ripped out of your chest and danced on with a pair of size 13 metal toe cap boots and then rammed back into your chest without any care or compassion. Well it has happened to me many times and the pain it has caused has shaped my life beyond what anyone would ever recognise and some wouldn’t believe someone would go through this and still be here which is a constant battle of surviving. I will point out that my life isn’t as bad as anyone else life, this is just part of my story so far…

So, let me take you back 21 years I was 10 years old, I went back to my nan after school in the summer term.  I was doing homework and back then mobile phones weren’t very common in 1996. I got a call from my dad, which was rare but he was crying down the phone at me telling me he was dying, he was choking on a sandwich, and was telling me how much he loved me. He hung up the phone I was screaming down the phone and my nan was beside herself as she was calling my aunt who lived 2 doors up the road from me, to get my cousin to go down and check on my dad. I kept trying to all my dad but there was no answer I was beside myself, thinking at the age of 10 I would be losing my dad. My cousin went down and found he was ok and he managed to cough up the sandwich. Turns out he had been drinking for most of the afternoon and then fell asleep whilst eating a sandwich. And woke up struggling to breath as he hadn’t fully digested the sandwich. My nan and majority of the family were furious I couldn’t talk to my dad for about a week where ever he was I had to run and hide as I was scared if he was going to die. That night my nan kept hugging me and checking I was ok even throughout the night. I didn’t go into school the next day as I didn’t sleep much.

I had hoped this would be a one off but sadly this wasn’t to be, I had another call, this time I was on my own 10 years later from the first time my dad had made the call. My family had changed as important people in my life had sadly passed away, so my family circle was a lot smaller whilst my friendship circle was very small. As most of you will know my dad had a life changing accident that he was left paralysed from the chest down. My mum was away celebrating her 50th birthday and was away, so I was home just getting back to work after the accident looking after the pets. I have mentioned in a previous blog regarding what happened back then. So, my dad called me up on a Sunday I had just finished work and was sorting dinner out. Well the call was about how my dad was ready to end his life and I was to get back to living my life, and to forget him. I was devastated after everything I was then being told to forget my father and I was losing him again, pleading with him not to do anything that would take him away from me. He got the carer to end the call and he turned off his phone so I couldn’t get through. I was then struggling as who do I turn to, my mum who is away celebrating her birthday? My aunt lived up the road from me who was seriously ill and in and out of hospital? My other aunt who was ill herself. I was alone and not sure of where to turn. I had to make the call to my mum sobbing my eyes out unsure what to do or who to call feeling guilty for calling my mum ruining her birthday weekend. My mum was disappointed and upset as she couldn’t protect me from this or stop my dad from doing this call. After the call, I was signed off work for 2 weeks, my work place wasn’t happy as it was the run up to Christmas so the stress of being short staffed but I couldn’t tackle stairs or talking to people. My mum was home and was going to work and taking care of me, and a household and the anger towards her ex-husband. It took me weeks to call him again or visit him as I was once again scared.

Over the years I have been let down by many people not just my dad where he would cancel plans on me for his friends which I have mentioned in previous posts. My friends are also like this, one evening I was coming back home from a different job I had been working at and had been dealing with depression silently, where I walk into 6 of my friends going out in my home town, they were going out for the night. I was destroyed devastated that they had decided to go out but they kept it all quiet but then they were doing it in my own home town and became sheepish when they walked into me. I was come to the end of working in one location and had been given a transfer to the flagship store and I went into my final day working in uxbridge not really in the mood to celebrate my final day but instead I was crying at the smallest things as I felt betrayed, not wanted and I was just a convenience.

This was repeated on and off over the years by the same group and I slowly withdrew from the group and made myself very isolated and no longer a convenience for people as no one saw me instead they would get the occasional message while their lives moved on and grew mine stalled. I was busy dealing with my dad and having a mental health condition that was coming back with a vengeance. I lost my dad when I was 26 from pneumonia and yes, I was destroyed after all the times I thought I would lose my dad didn’t happen and then it had finally happened, he was free from the living hell he was living being a prisoner in his failing body. As he passed on his birthday and so close to my own birthday. Dad was free but the family were like vultures going against his wishes and making it about them. I was finally free of them as they were no longer part of my life. As this happened so close to my birthday I postponed my birthday to do something a few months later, as we went out for a belated birthday meal, I was quite sad and missing my dad at the time and then suddenly the people around the table stated showing pictures of their childhood with their dad’s. I sat there trying to keep it all in and stop myself from crying. It had been 6 weeks since he had past and then this. I excused myself from the table and hid in the toilets to cry and pull myself back together splashed some water on my face to hide the puffy cheeks. I went back to the table and they were still talking about their childhood with their dad’s. once the meal was over I started to walk off to get the train home, while they all went out for more drinks which I wasn’t invited to. I was devastated at how cruel they could be talking about their childhood and their dad’s and I had just lost mine 6 weeks prior and only laid him to rest a month prior to the night out. After this I didn’t see the group much, as I couldn’t face the pain that I was going through. Depression subsided for a bit as it was all wrapped up in grief.

I started to see my first boyfriend and at the start of the relationship it was all new to me as this was my first relationship and my first kiss happened at bearscots. I started to see my first boyfriend in the October after my dad passing. He was kind compassionate and friendly. The first time I visited was interesting as I flew up to Glasgow and spent the weekend with him and met his flatmate at a party. I was really on edge as I was going into an environment I was unsure of what I was doing. Well the party went well except he drunk too much and mixed with prescribed medication so wrote off the Sunday so I was put into a very awkward situation that I was in his home with his friends and not knowing them whilst he was sleeping off the combination of a hangover and medication. I sat there alone and struggling to see how this would work. Part of me wanted to end it before I became to invested in the relationship then the other part of me wanted to see where this went. As I was scared of being alone, I still am if I am being honest. Well I let this relationship to carry on till December 2014 and we went on a permanent break.  During the relationship, I had left my old job and home and moved 200 miles away from London to my new and current home Manchester, I started in a brand-new career sector and it was all new to me. We went on a break as he kept letting me down and promising to come and visit me in my home as I was feeling homesick but also, I was slowly killing myself with all the travelling around the UK. I would travel up to Glasgow every single month at a lot of cost to myself and then spending a lot of money in Glasgow and supporting my now ex. We went on this break and in the month, I did stuff that I had never done, gone out getting drunk with friends and coming home at the crack of dawn. Doing other adult activities. (all legal I should add) well the final nail in our relationship was I sent a text on Christmas morning as I had done every other Christmas, and I didn’t hear anything from him for 4 days and his response was I forgot. There and then it proved I wasn’t anything to him and our relationship had reached its end. In January, we broke up 1 day before my best friend’s birthday. I went out to raise a glass celebrate his birthday but I couldn’t get through the night so left by 9.30pm and was home in tear. I hugged my friends as I left. The room was alive smiling and chatting and kissing, and there was me my heart broken and finally free from the psychological abuse I had to survive from my ex.

During the time of the break/ Break up I started to get feelings for someone else and as they treated me as a human being. Showed me what it was like to be treated as an equal and if I was worth something. Throughout the time we had always been flirty and supportive of each other. Well slowly emotions grew and I was getting attached to this person being in my life as someone important. It was a complicated as I had come out of a very difficult relationship but also, I was going through a lot with people manipulating and stirring the friendship we had to make them look better and isolate me whilst my mental health took a further decline with being made to become isolated and unwanted. That person leading me on saying “if it was complicated and you weren’t getting over your last relationship I would date you….” It hurt more than ever as I was being see not as me but instead as this damaged and hurt person that I wasn’t allowed to be loved anymore. Well the night of pride and many catalysts stirred the pot and made me feel more alone and isolated and the voices in my head taking feel control that I wasn’t wanted or needed whilst the others all had fun and were able to live in that time whilst I hide in a bed alone. The voices were loud and clear I wasn’t wanted and it was time to end it all. 30th August I had to run away out of the house I had once felt safe and then no more, finding the best place to finally succumb to the voices. I got to a point in a busy road, and I looked at my phone and saw a picture of my mum and my aunt, the voices becoming slightly quieter instead another voice my mum voice ringing in my head barely heard her voice becoming louder and warmer in my body telling me to ask for help don’t do this. I did the reach out too someone who was nearby who helped to stop me from committing the final act.

Well this blog was born after this moment of how my life had to change. Over the past 2 years I have had to repair mind and my physical life as well. I came back from the destruction that nearly had happened and instead I had concluded that it wasn’t to be with him and the relationship I had craved. It took me a while to finally approach this friendship again and talk to them. We organised a night out to catch up to discuss our friendship and how it couldn’t continue in that way. As we walked to go our separate ways he kissed me something I wasn’t expecting and had said it had to stop and we couldn’t carry this on as it hurt too much for both of us.  This occurred again at my birthday where they started to snog me leading me on whilst I wasn’t expecting this or wanting this. I had the emotions of I wish it would have happened and it would have been more but it wasn’t. From then it was a continual leading on and teasing of my emotions. Few month later they had a few dates and I was upset by this as it was a case of when it suits I was around. Then that didn’t happen and I closed off the world to anything being more serious with anyone instead I just kept my head down trying to find who I was.

In the April, I started to go on the occasional date which turned into a relationship which was only a short-lived relationship as we broke up in the august. Which I have already said my previous blogs that it was complex and complicated as it was abusive to a point. Even after the breakup it was still abusive and controlling which I am glad I escaped from earlier than before.

Over the past year I have had my ups and down and had more complications added to my life with change in my job, my support network becoming more fragmented and now it is more stretched than ever. I had a mini break down earlier this year when a person who has seen my mental health break down in the fullest use it to benefit themselves and another doing the lead on then hurting me. It has gotten too much to the point can I trust people to be there who aren’t out there for something that benefits them instead of it hurts me.

I don’t ask for a lot and never want to trouble people with my problem of feeling like the world is against me. I spent last night in bed from 4.30 pm and shut down all my social media accounts including my WhatsApp archived every conversation muted some. I decided I can’t trust anyone I have to hide away and keep myself to myself and no one will miss me as I have had more sadness then I care to remember not just the ones mentioned above as well compared too happy memories. I do not know if i will be able to come through this for much longer alone.

I am one and I am most feeling it at the moment.

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The reject

Have you ever woken up and just feel like you are alone and no one is there anymore? Slowly while you have been going through the motions and blocking out the emotions that you are slowly losing not just yourself but the world of support is disappearing by the way side. Slow those that once stood in your corner step away to focus on their own lives and their own happiness, while you find take every step forward heavier than the last. The weight of being alone and no longer having the support you once had that love and compassion helping to will you on to succeed is no more and then you look around there is no one there you are finally achieved what the illness has always wanted, you are rejected from your support. You are now a reject the goal of the illness, the ones you love and care about only see so much of what is going on behind the mask but not fully. There aren’t enough cracks for anyone to see fully behind those hazel eyes.

The illness goal is to be the sole survivor of this battle and not the person, you become this capsule that is only holding the illness within it and there is nothing that can stop it from dying unless the holder of the illness dies. While their heart breaks no longer having the people you never thought would leave vs. the people who reach out but some of them aren’t there to support you for you instead they are there to gain a victory or part of you, emotionally or physically as if you have a price tag sticking out of you from different vantage points.

Slowly the illness has been building the walls and the bricks are clear so you can see through them but no one can see them instead they feel this barrier and they try and try to reach through but slowly they feel the barrier getting bigger and deeper and no longer able to reach and get frustrated that you don’t see the support and have better things to be doing and their own battles that need to take the priorities or finding what makes them happy and how they can manage that. No longer able to focus on you instead they must focus on themselves.

A piece of you cracking every time the support network is being chipped away like a sail boat going out to sea, with no intention of coming back as they have no sail to guide them back to shore or to the harbour where you are standing. No matter how much pleading you have for them to come back they just don’t return the boats have no parted with you and your tears rolling down you cheeks adding to the sea and the emotion of being lost at sea sweeping over you the dread of being cold, alone and no longer having the people you love more than anything standing with you, helping you stand tall and seeing their smile and the smile isn’t a fake or as if they want part of you other than seeing you safe happy and want you to be the person they all know and love.

Once the illness like depression gets a grip it takes a lot for it to be put back in Pandora box, sometimes it is impossible to achieve this without help of your supporters and the people who want to see you achieve your dreams and goals, whatever they might be. But most of all they want you to be happy.

So, life for me is difficult right now slowly I have seen parts of my support network drift away or I have had to cut ties with people due to certain situations which I need to keep myself away from as I need to focus on me. Which could be classed as selfish but sometimes you need to be, especially when people are exploiting your past and using it against you. From a difficult few years with breaks ups to finding my feet in a whole new city, new home, struggling to find the support or somewhere I feel like I belong it is tough, as I feel more and more like I have been rejected from people lives as they should focus on there’s and all I want is to be part of their life like I was before. In the last few months I have attended my 6th Manchester Pride, my 5th Bearscots in Edinburgh I have also started to distance myself from people who I feel I need to get a breather from, and those that I have drifted away from. I recently read a thread of my past relationship and of course instead of focusing on the nice loving messages we once had instead my eyes are drawn to the negative comments, of being fat and deserving to never be happy. I will be the first to admit I will always feel like a third-class citizen behind my friends and family is because I want them to be happy and put their happiness before my own. I put myself out there and made myself my own priority and came away scared and damaged more than I would ever let onto the world as no one needs to see the piece of me that has been rejected by someone that has hurt me. Then again, I probably hurt him in way he just doesn’t have the same outlets as I have. While I rejected a lot of the negativity from the break ups and the fireworks and restrained from posting fully what happened when I just wanted everyone to be happy. I made peace and put years of animosity behind me and accepted that the wars that my head was creating from an illness wasn’t worth the war nor was the illness I took a year of disliking someone and reality was I disliked myself and accept there were many faults not just one sole person.

Speed through to today, the dilemma of my life seeing these clear bricks and walls appearing around me slowly closing off the world to what I should be achieving finding my own happiness and instead I resent and feel rejected by others as I have become uncomfortable about the world around me. It has made me start to think is this home the right home for me or would it be better for me to return to where I call home? Or do I carry on fighting and finding a new home in the north? Part of me will always love my home down south and not London that is where I grew up but my home is always where my mum is. I have always tried to fight through the doubt that I needed to get through the feeling of never being good enough and being rejected. I must fight through and I should make the most of every opportunity. Taking the steps to fight and no longer feel the rejected ugly duckling or as if parts of me have a price tag attached to them.

“The bravest thing I have ever done was continuing to live when I wanted to die!”

Fighting through the feeling that sometimes feeling it might be easier if I wasn’t here. As others don’t need the grief of my narcosis and instead find someone who isn’t as complicated as others are. As the quote says I should take the positive out of the fact I am still here and I am still fighting through the darkness and unhappiness that is festering and instead of hiding away from the world. this weekend I have hid away from the world and stepping away from events that I have once attended and enjoyed and stepped away from people I care about getting to wrapped up in my own head afraid of something that hasn’t even happened or even listening to what people are saying instead I am listening to the illness and what it wants me to listen to.

Part of me is always going to want me to just disappear but the rest of me wants me to achieve what my heart has always wanted to find happiness and having a comfortable life, feeling loved and wanted and having someone who thinks of me just as much as I think of them.

Now, it just isn’t to be instead it could always be something of the future goal. Right now, it’s time for me to find me and being the ONE.

 

Dear Alex…

Dear Alex,

Your 20 and life seems to have been slightly rough for you so far being forgotten about by friends, and you took the direction of starting to work and focus on being a manager! You have worked hard the past few years and thought they were hard but, you are now 20 and sadly the next 11 years are going to be just as hard if not harder.

Before you turn 21 you will have the moment your life will change forever, your father is going to be involved in a life changing accident and he will no longer be the same as he will be in a wheel chair. The night of change will be a night of remembrance and many members of the outlawed family will accuse you of the accident that wasn’t your fault and you need to learn to accept that. You didn’t provide dad with any of the alcohol nor did you tell him to walk up those stairs. You will have to move him and you will have to decide which will seem hard and but it’s a life or death call. When you make decision to move him its ok his neck is already broken before you even touch him. It isn’t your fault, you don’t have to put a brave face on and try to carry on or feel guilty you can take time out and be there for your family and yourself.

You will a have to live with dad’s decisions if he wants to trust people you don’t agree with all you can do it try to protect him and support him and make sure he isn’t taken advantage of. The outlawed family will act as if they have not been hidden for the past 20 years of your life. You are 20 not 50, dad wants you to live and accept you didn’t do anything wrong. You have your life to lead and you can be there for your dad and your mum and still try to live! The world now knows your secret that you tried to hide from the world of being gay. Ignore the outlaws as they will hover like vultures and act as if they have always been there. You know differently, they will disappear when they see dad isn’t going to get better and they can’t have anything that is dads as it is yours and it’s all tied up in the estate. Now this is where the seeds of depression will be planted as you will have that fear of stairs and you will struggle to start with to overcome them but you will overcome it. Also, you will relieve that fateful night over and over in your mind and you need to stop it and let it go. It was a horrible accident and you had no control over it.

When you have turned 21 you will celebrate it won’t be the big birthday that you may have wanted but you will be with a small number of people that you laugh and enjoy yourself at the school disco in Hammersmith, others missed out as it was a great night. You got many kisses mainly from odd people but a few nice men too. Few weeks after you do this you will have an interview with the psychologist with dad next to you. Do not listen to them or be pulled into the room as you will be left on your own the psychologist will be focusing on dad not you! This will continue to plant the seed of depression and you need to be strong and accept sometimes it is best people not knowing the full story and dad is one of them. When you are struggling you need to talk to people they aren’t bad some of them are there to support you and will listen if you let them in.

Later in the year you will be faced with another hard hurdle when aunty passes on, close to her birthday and the night before you will be with family, the 4 of you will be in the garden united as the final 4 and you will be together. You will pull through this and will tell work how you feel and be in control you will lose the thorn in your side not long after. Also, you will make work aware you will take time off for your family as it is you family. You will see more change later in the year when you move to a new home, you will see dad in a wheelchair and see him in a care home, and you will have to hold yourself together. When work tells you that you can’t take the time off for your aunt’s funeral, you decided to make the change and find a new job which will be terrifying and completely different to what you are used to but you will grow to love the job and sell more than a pair of shoes! You need to keep your confidence as you know how to work with customers and you know how to get the best out of people you just need to keep you cool and take it on the chin.

With all this change and missing the people you have to talk to people when you need them as they won’t know what is going on in your head if you don’t tell them. Same time you need to make friends with people and stop holding it in. you will make friends with people who are completely idiots and don’t deserve you as a friend. That is normal and they will soon show their true colours. You don’t need to accept their poor choices as your own. Be your age and live your life Alex as no one else will live it for you, and you don’t need to be a keyboard warrior or live your life through other people instead you have to live it for you.

For the next few years you will feel isolated and alone but as I said above you need to move beyond your circle of friends and make a new path that is focused on you instead of focusing on everyone else. Also, you have had a bad deck of cards dealt as you keep saying “it’s better it happened to you rather then one of your friends” well you don’t deserve it and nor should you feel it’s better for you. Instead it just happens and you have been strong so far and have had to pull through a lot this has made you a better person. Many will have crumbled and cracked before now, keep your head held high and keep it high. You will be forgotten about by people but that is a choice they have made and yes some of their choices will be immature and you will not know what to do with yourself at the time but you will get through this.  Don’t let your mind dictate who or what you want to do, you can do anything you want when you put your mind to it and be the person you want to be.

When you turn 27 you will have a very big shock and a biggest change you have ever faced in life. Dad will finally be at peace and he will make the decision to be at peace. This will be devastating and he will pass on his birthday. You will be there and you will have to keep strong as you will have to deal with the outlaws and put them in their place a lot as you will lose your father and that is the most important part, they are losing one of their own who they share some DNA with but they won’t have the memories you have with your dad or learning how to say, “yellow yolk” they won’t know this and you will. The cousin who is jealous of you will be there and say she is losing her uncle and make you feel bad for not always being there for dad but he admitted he wanted you to live! And he said this in front of them all that he wasn’t always there for you, this is a big thing as you have never heard him admit his mistakes like this or that he is proud of you. Spend the time with your dad and the rest of them will have to disappear. You will go through the argument with them as they are jealous of your relationship with him, as they will be guilty of where they have been for the years and they will never admit this to anyone.

Your friend won’t know what to say or how to act with you as they don’t know what has been going on and you need to make sure you make time for them. Don’t keep being a lone wolf and suffer in silence. For many months, you will fight with the outlaws and there will be a point you will slowly start to live. You will have a fantastic holiday to Murcia with 3 great people. Work will be supportive about taking time away and coming back into the business, you will slowly start to build the confidence to make new friends and start a new life as you want it and attend your first big gay event such as Manchester Pride and you will also get the confidence to go to Edinburgh to attend Bearscots. You will go to both events and you will have a great time and you will even leave one of the events with a boyfriend which you didn’t anticipate ever happening.

You will be happy for a while and you will be confident and make some big changes over the years with a career change and move from where you call home of London. You are with him and eventually you will have to let him go the sooner you do the better as he will hurt you and not make priorities you before his ex and you will always play second fiddle, he will mess with your mind and make you feel inferior because he forgets how important you are.

When you make the cut, you will go into a spiral and start to live your new life and lose the confidence and start to encounter the worst depression as it will have all mounted up to implode in your mind. Throughout you will have some people playing games with your mind manipulating you and you will find someone who has helped to make you feel human for a brief period. You will find you finally snap and your mind will implode, you will take the time you need to regroup and rebuild your mind. You will regroup and settle into your new environment with a new home that you can call your own. You need to reject the negativity and remove all the toxic people from your life they don’t belong in your life.

As you grow and mature and find your safe space in your mind, then you will encounter more difficult challenges over the year you must pick who you want to be associated with and if you want to be involved in the challenges. You can take a step away when you need from some people if you do not agree with people’s morals or past decisions. Remember you know the difference between right and wrong and those who stand with you. You also must move on and accept somethings may never happen its life and you have proven over 11 years with all the fight and battles you have had you deserve to be happy and find that person who deserves you.

You have to let people into your life and you need to be honest with others and make them aware of how you feel. The person you might wish to be with may not actually be the right person for you. Don’t wait for Mr right now wait for Mr Right and enjoy yourself in the now. You deserve it, and you need to accept it as well. You are stronger then you will ever believe.

Love

ME.

X

 

 

 

Hurricane

11 years ago, I began this fight that I never knew what it would become a life changing fight that would alter everything I do and who I am. I grew up alone, I was a victim of being bullied for being me, I was the fat kid.

This battle that takes control and bigger than I am or the ever can be. the disease is described as “the Big Black Dog” it starts off as a little fluff ball of doubt smaller than a grain of rice then it grows like a puppy until it’s a fully-grown dog that can grow to full size with a bat of an eyelid, but won’t shrink or disappear as quick instead it lurks in the darkness or rolls over for its belly to be scratched thinking you have beaten the incurable illness.

The hardest part of the battle I found that the lapses are manageable but the relapse I have been fighting off for the past few weeks trying to see a hint of light through the cloud and just not being able to find the break in the cloud instead I have had thunder and lightning flying in my head. As a hurricane causing a barrier between me and the outside world and I am caught in the eye of the hurricane. The eye of the hurricane the most dangerous part of the entire event, nothing can get in and it you feel the calmness within until suddenly you see a car flying past before your own eyes. With every spiral, it gets more issues added to it making it a bigger and unmanageable or uncontrollable.

My latest black dog has yet to be given a name as it is a newer dog, and part of me feels it should only be called the one thing that flows through my mind now of “hurricane” currently my lounge feels incredibly small when in the face my lounge is spacious. Space has been taken up by a very large black dog with a paw on my chest trying to keep me down and to stop me typing and clear my thoughts. The fear for the hurricane is simple when he is smaller and just big enough to fit back in Pandora box. Yes, I said it in the pretense that I will defeat this illness.

So, what brought this on, as you may or may not have read I have fallen for someone who won’t reciprocate the same feelings. I have had a lot of work pressure recently with new job role and some poor choices of my own, not listening to my mind and saying “STOP”.  I should say this is keep saying yes and volunteering which I need to stop doing and say NO. 

On my way into work for a few days I already figured out how to end my own life, but I fought the voices back and told them no. One of the days my will was quite low and weak and felt it just take one step and it is over with. I did take that one step, backward away from the danger. I have also been experiencing nightmares of losing my mum which makes me cry every time I think of this nightmare. Friends who I don’t notice I am slipping into this spinning fortress of pain as they see the outside I appear fine and I say I am fine but I’m not I am hiding away the problems as I know people are having their own battles. This is something I should have learned previously as it was a big factor in my last breakdown.  Also, not being noticed people can see through me as I stand in a room and just look right through me as if I don’t exist, probably because they can see I am uncomfortable and have no confidence to say “hi”. Some of my friends are popular and have bags full of confidence and never let the mask slip and the exude confidence by the gallon and there is me who just doesn’t have an ounce of confidence to speak. Instead, I slip away into the shadows away from the eyes. It’s same with apps people don’t notice me as I have morals and ethics and I appear nice or too nice.

Most the trigger points anyone can go through it is common for people with a mental health illness to go through several triggers that create a bigger chain and a bigger event that you could never predict.

I am embarrassed with myself for letting this reoccur when I knew what the warning signs were and the trigger points were being reached and I didn’t listen to my own mind, but the Hurricane as I write this no longer has his paw on my chest trying to stop me instead it has given me back my sofa and breathing has got a little easier.

With embarrassment, it also gives me the encouragement to embrace the illness same as before and take control of Hurricane but also the trigger points. I have been to see my doctor and have begun another course of medication but also restarting counseling and other wellbeing support apps that are available on different platforms. Yes, I am fighting and yes, I going to put all the lessons I learned before but this time get them reinforced. My blog helped me last time as I got a lot out of my mind and onto virtual paper which the hurricane that is ongoing in my head throws the paper out of my hands and into the world to see. I won’t deny this blog could go dark and twisted but it can also show light and hope and peace of mind in some way. I must do this for me which last time I did but it was more for helping that one in four people who face mental health issues. This time I am ONE and I am fighting out of this illness.

 

 

 

 

Man behind the Mask!

I stand and I cry I feel I hurt. The words you hear from anyone who is suffering from a difficult situation. The time that you are going through and you are on the level that feels normal no longer in the deepest darkest parts of depression. You are in the grey the void, moving along calmly and confidently and ploughing through the issues and the problems that are being thrown are you.

Then it hits as if you have been plunged into an ice bath the cold icy water soaking into your clothes hairs on your arms and legs going into shock the body begins to shiver, the body shutting down and going into spasm and slowly the ice water consumes every part of your being, slowly becoming isolated and alone. No longer feeling the person you were when you were on the path has collapsed and the road is become slipped away into the ice.

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That path has taken a sudden turn and the rain is coming down harder than before. It is going through every piece of your clothes and draining the colour out of you. The once pink skin now tinged with grey, sorrow and becoming sore. The eyes hiding the reality of what is going on behind the mask that has been put up to the world. The mask is so good it can fool everyone and anyone including yourself pretending it is ok and the wounds you once had won’t reopen again as it is taking over the body and soul like a wave of dread. Nothing is hitting the mask of what is happening off of your face. Every step feels like walking in quick sand. Sucking in the soul turning your heart to stone. No longer being allowed to feel the softness the kindness is lost being absorbed into the ether. The heart turning and breaking into piece with every beat. The mask doesn’t apply to just the outside of the body, but the whole person.

“We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.” 
― 
Patrick Rothfuss

If you look at me do you see me as half a man or half a person because I have a mental health condition? Can you see the illness beyond the mask I wear hiding the scars and the wounds that no one can see until the mask is moved.  I stand behind this mask same as everyone who hides how they are actually feeling the emotions that wish it could escape and fit in like everyone else. Removing the mask only briefly so no one can see the reality of when I struggle or the real me, who has put up a wall of defence to protect myself and others from seeing the mark of the last attack.

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Recently I have had my first big lapse after everything I have gone through the past year. It finally happened as its normal to have bad low points in life. This time it was as if the world was crumbing in on me. As parts of my world was under attack within my working life to suddenly no longer feeling good enough to be with people or near. A reminder of the previous wars I have had against people when this whole fight begun, with my old mask finally removed and my then identity exposed to the world as a victim of depression. No longer feeling I could be part of society as a whole and I needed to hide away and not be seen by the world. a new mask now being worn that has been locked away never expecting for it to be seen or worn. The mask with many cracks and many scars attached, it shows the lapse and the wounds  I have tried to forget form growing up being bullied, being emotionally abused, being alone a lot as people didn’t realise what they were doing. The traumatic events that have shaped and guided my life and created and the person I am. Even with the doors on those events firmly closed they are still showing on the mask.

Can I stop the illness, no the illness is now part of my life and is going to be a factor in those good and bad days that I know the so called “normal” world have. My days just seem to be more perpetual and more destructive on the occasion of the low points.

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Revisions

With this blog I wrote this when I was at a low point remembering my past the destruction and how my mask slipped and I was no longer holding myself together instead I was letting external factors to influence what was going on with who I was. The effects of some people can have on a persons persona where being called selfish, ugly, horrible person can hurt but when I look at who is throwing the insults and the digs at me. Has proven a something, they could be right but its most likely they are wrong, my intention and my path is very clear and I stand by my morals. I believe in being kind and supportive to the world and those that show the same back deserve my time, those who are just keep taking, and never being there in return do not have the upper hand. I was brought up to be respectful, some could say soft some would say weak. I say I am me! The people who want me in their lives accept me for being this clumsy, silly, tall who wears my heart on the sleeve. I accept my mask can fall and it will occasionally show more than I really want to show the world, but then again who mask doesn’t slip especially when you don’t want it to. Unless you have something to be ashamed of, and I am no longer ashamed of having an depression or anxiety.

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I will not be judged as only having an illness I am just me, who has an illness but has many layers and many masks that shows who I am. Having the sad moments and the high points in life, its normality and when external factors come into fruition well I must have done something right as they have nothing better than to attack me. Go for it, as reality is I can dust myself off and get back on the horse again and still be true to me. Can you?

I am ONE

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Dare To BEAR

When you have a fear, it can become too much to face on your own. As a survivor and current sufferer of chronic depression. “I rise” with help of my friends and loved one I continue to fight through the darkness and the fears. Daring to grow and become strong facing the fears that cloud path forward unsure of where to turn. The light of my friends care and love shining through like a beacon of hope they have helped to protect and support. As a sufferer it is hard to let people in and see when someone really cares and the light coming in from the outside, as the path and the world outside is dark and bleak.

With dealing with depression and anxiety issues it is sometimes difficult to get back on with what we call “normal” life and going out and being who you want to be as each moment of the day as a sufferer you are fighting to get through the seconds, minutes, the hours and the day it can become too much to carry on and trying to just survive becomes the primary goal of the day.

Image result for Bearscots logoThe reason why I decided this blog would be different is because I have had to comes to terms with no longer being a victim but a survivor. There is some part of me that are still very raw and the strength to get through events don’t always come from me, but the strength comes from my friends and family. I have recently been to an event that I haven’t been to in 2 years and the last time I went to it I was in a relationship with my ex. Bearscots was when I first really got my first proper taste of the gay world as I grew up in London being the only gay guy out of my group of friends, it was a learning curve. With the events of 2012 where I lost my father and the family war of his side and confidence to try and make the first real steps into the world that I am apart of even if I didn’t know if I was really ready was overwhelming. The first night I was terrified my confidence was quite low as I was still very new to the world and at the event on my own in the big part as I was still getting to know people. Then I met the ex. They say that’s the end of that and it was, I had 2 years with him and came out with quite a few scars which hurt and they still do to a point but they have happened and I have come to terms with the majority of the problems we were had. I will always fight through the feeling of being the forgotten person and being the least important as I have had years of events being let down. With this year’s Bearscots it was meant to be different it been 2 years I have grown I have started to tackle the problems always head on in my own time and this year Bearscots was one I was tackling with friends and family who were there to hold my hand and pull me through the events of the weekend.

I had to dare myself to push myself through and try to enjoy myself facing the fear walking into an ex, pushing out the memories of the previous events in Edinburgh but also pushing through and baring my soul that I can be safe and enjoy myself in a place that holds so many memories and be safe away from my home and in a place on my own at times.  Many friend’s hands pulling and supporting me through shining bright to get me through the dark times and the path and brushing away the obstacles that appear on the path.

This year’s Bearscots was the event that I have always put above all other events. This is because it feels a lot like home, where it all begun and I could feel comfortable not only being me, but comfortable with other people around me. This year I had a lot of adrenaline building up and was feeling anxious a lot of the time. I was drinking as well at this event as I haven’t really been drinking alcohol a lot of the time when I go out, just to let me to remain in control but this time I decided to go against that rule and just enjoy myself as much as I could as, I can’t control everything and I shouldn’t need too. This year I did have a panic attack outside one of the venues and was on my own for a bit as I couldn’t push through the fear. It felt like time had stopped and I was frozen in time. Friends saw me outside and came and started to try calm me down and help me through the panic.  Looking back at the events of the weekend I doubt and know I wouldn’t have been able to get through the weekend. I actually laughed a lot more then I feared, I danced and drunk as it no one was watching me. Not feeling self-conscious about my weight or my body I enjoyed myself. The pictures show me as I am, smiling being comfortable and being able to say I am me.

A mantra I had to write on the mirror and repeat when I was walking to my friends;

“I am Strong
 I am Better
 I am Kind
 I DESERVE BETTER”

I dare to BEAR and pull through the illness that takes so many people, the statistics are still 1 in 4 adults still face mental health illness. I bare my illness and don’t hide it away but nor do I make it my world or my life, it can feel like it is all I talk about or I am now but I am far from the illness. People come up to me now and talk about how I don’t hide away or how I take the fight to the illness. The reason I bare my soul and the fight is I can see the world differently to what I use to see it as being very differently and being broken view. I am not ashamed of the illness and some days I do wish I wasn’t fighting it and didn’t have the illness but it won’t change anything. I am honest about the battle same as who I have always been, HONEST.

Its ok to have a lapse it is only for a moment not the whole beginning. I have had a few lapses and they are difficult at the time but I learn from each lapse. What is the triggers? What is going on in the bigger world? Am I forgetting what I have learnt in the past to deal with them? The majority of the answers would be yes I have forgotten that I am forgetting the bigger picture and the other coping strategies I have learnt. I didn’t even think about doing my mindfulness this week and it was a sign that I still have really long road to battle through, it is very much a learning curve and I have to think more about me at times especially when I am feeling the world is getting a bit too heavy.

Never feel the battle is too big or feel you have to face it alone. Friends and family and those you might not expect will support you through thick and thin. My best friend who is basically my brother we started this way and now I can’t think of life without having him about. Same as most of my friends they have moved from being just friends but part of my wider family. I will see everyone next year at Bearscots as I owe it to myself to enjoy myself.

To my friends, Family & Supporters Thank you for being there for me and lighting up the path. x

I am ONE

Phoenix

Ash to ash dust to dust. The illness that once ruled some people lives with our mental health being more and more prominent within society and the local wellbeing networks that we create over the years. Not all the networks will be for the better.

We go through these stages of losing who we are like an onion which I have wrote about in a previous blog, the many layers of the onion are like our lives. We lose who we are each time we shed that shell of the onion. As that person and shell will never return or re grow you will have parts of that former person appearing with the characteristics but they have been burned away and the rebirth the rise of the “PHOENIX”

The mystical myth the phoenix the fire bird that never dies just comes back stronger and stronger each time. The fire of the rebirth isn’t fast it is a slow transformation into the fire being. Slowly the ashes scatter with us while we walk our lives and never knowing that your old self is no longer there instead you are the new you!

…ONE Year ago “I am ONE” was born the birth of my own phoenix, the beginning to my own recovery from last year where the darkness took over me and I went to the lowest point of my life. The darkness that takes more people every year. It doesn’t believe in excluding anyone for gender, creed, orientation it is all inclusive disease that is soul destroying and it attacks from the inside out.

Back on the 3rd September 2015 my first two blogs were created “I Am One & ONE” five days after the darkness took over on the 30th August 2015 at Manchester Pride it felt like the world was better without me being around and didn’t need me. No matter how much I did to try and fix me it never seemingly worked or would stick so I struggled for 10 years. From the voices in my head telling me “I wasn’t good enough”, “you’re not wanted here” “Die” the voices were getting louder and louder and becoming more controlling. Emotions got heightened and losing more of who I was back then as that person who was constantly fighting and trying to lead a normal life which was impossible to live back then, as I never accepted how ill I was.

Over the year, I have scattered the old ashes and slowly as a walk this earth the old parts of me that were broken. Giving me an opportunity to recover and find the parts of me to free the parts that were prisoned in the high walls of the prison. The fire of my depression and anxiety and stress, took part of me and was a big piece to overcome. It has taken a lot of effort and slowly with help from friends and my family I have grown and the inner phoenix has got bigger and become stronger.  Even entering into a relationship has helped to build up my resistance and I still have to work on that and being able to fight off the feelings of being less than someone else.

A year on and I have taken my bashes and the old scars have opened on occasion but they have been very much helped to make me who I am today.

“If you wanna go somewhere, and you wanna be somebody, you better wake up and pay attention.”

Phoenix will never die, and neither will I. This year has taught me anything nothing is impossible.  I have written the take 5 project which sadly wasn’t picked up beyond the first draft due to the it being too similar to the main wellbeing agenda that is on-going.  I have also completed all my treatment process with CBT, Mindfulness & Counselling and continued with my medication.

Thank you everyone who has been part of my recovery and helped me to transform into me.

xx

 

 

 

 

Filtered

We are born to have feelings and emotions. Each person has a different emotional capacity compared to others, we will go through the spectrum of emotions and from the good and bad with the view to be who we are.

Every emotion has a reaction we all can read the situation differently and wrongly from the intended. As the world is evolving and appearing to be more accepting and more rational we still have clusters were we have no equality or acceptance. The tweet that is going around the world is #nofilter, #weareorlando. Orlando has seen the worst terrorist shooting in the USA since 9/11. A one man wrecking crew to disrupt and damage the world we all know, some accept and some hate but it’s the world we live in. it wasn’t just an attack on the USA it was an attack on the Gay community, every single gay person man, female or those who have not decided, were reminded we still have many more steps to go before we are fully accepted.

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Minute silences taken all across the world, events were candles were lit hands help balloons released. The community stood together not as a single individual but as one sole community. Pride events have witnessed the atrocity of Orlando and the world united, communities stood together not just those within the gay community but everyone. The man who committed this devastated attack, didn’t like a community because he was embarrassed or ashamed of who he was on the inside turning to destruction. I don’t mention his religion as it was attack on all of mankind no discrimination to gender, religion or race it was an attack either way. We are all entitled to an opinion and belief and there are small sects of extremist views.

“All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” 
― Harvey Milk

London Pride has taken place and we have seen the acceptance where adverts and companies jumping on to support the community that I belong in.  There were marriage proposals from the police force to the parade.

Then within weeks of this attack the UK took to the biggest referendum in 41 years, the EU referendum where the people of the UK had to vote to stay or leave. The usual press gang happened with propaganda from both sides with the Leave Campaign winning by 52% vs, Remain campaign 48%. People made the decision which we have to respect and come to terms with that the UK will no longer be part of the European Union and we are now in the uncertainty and we have 2 years of renegotiation and decision making including a new leader of the UK to be made. We now begin the new stage of our lives in the UK where we will all learn together what the future will actually hold, is anyone’s guess.

We filter out so much and look at ways to protect ourselves, from the real world. I have been fighting out of the darkness and the Filter has slowly been turned on filtering out the negative wasteland of the destruction. No longer listening to those that should have no control over me anymore. I have begun to be me. The worlds that I broke down as two different realms of consciousness, the psychological world and the physical world they once ran in parallel one controlling the other world.

In recent months, I have begun to be in a relationship with someone I care about. To being signed off of CBT with my doctor in early June. I have finally started to take control of the battle and winning, the main battle I face now is what do I want to do with my life. I know who I am, with my own dreams and goals and the two realms now working in symmetry. I have a wonderful family, great friends, a great support network with friends online and in person. Work has balanced out now and I am in more control than ever before. At the same time control can and will change and I have to roll with those punches.

With this I have achieved many milestones in my recovery, I have a lovely home, a decent job, about to begin a qualification within career path. I am about to face a bigger challenge in the next few weeks with going to Pride! Manchester pride is the one that holds a lot of challenges for me, where I have to face the demons from last year as it will mark the first year since my mental collapse. I will be facing it with my boyfriend, and countless friends, some from last year and some from my wider friend’s network.

Harvey Milk once said,

The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us’es, the us’es will give up. And if you help elect to the central committee and other offices, more gay people, that gives a green light to all who feel disenfranchised, a green light to move forward. It means hope to a nation that has given up, because if a gay person makes it, the doors are open to everyone. 

So if there is a message I have to give, it is that if I’ve found one overriding thing about my personal election, it’s the fact that if a gay person can be elected, it’s a green light. And you and you and you, you have to give people hope….” 

All we can do is hope for a better tomorrow and we will be united!

We are the Brave, Strong , Beautiful, Courageous, Unique , Vibrant & Proud!

We are the RAINBOW

Light

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Have you ever felt that the lights in the room are dimmed and just need the switch to be turned up to be brighter in the room? Yet nothing seems to brighter instead it is dull darker, as if you have gone back in time to a past you once forgot. A time you never wanted to go back too as it destroyed who you were and has been a battle suddenly rears their ugly head.

A room with one switch it can’t turn on it is stuck in off no matter how many times you replace the switch it just doesn’t work or want to turn on. Certain people will be the instigator of bringing out the past and reminding you of the past, and the way you felt back then. It isn’t about the way you are now and how much you have worked on developing your own defenses and coping mechanisms throughout the day. Trying to turn on the “LIGHT

The way others have the ability to keep the switches and turn the mood with a click of their fingers as if they have the power to control the world. You could be secretly going through events and then suddenly you try to focus on the real world dilemmas like food, transport bills, etc. the demons that were once there seemingly have disappeared but they simmer behind the fascia that everything is “fine” when really everyone knows that “fine” doesn’t mean that you are fine.

“You’ve found yourself alone in a room
Total devastation
In the darkness you must enter the code
And crack the combination all on your own

Pick yourself up and search for the light
Hungry for a new start
It’s your chance now to stand up and fight
Take the next step now a day at a time

Open up, open up
Everybody’s waiting
From high above
Feel the love
Open up your windows

Let in the sun
Let in the sun
Let in the sun
Just let in the sun

Good to see you with your feet on the track
Waiting for a restart
Leaving all that once what was holding you back
Want you to see the sun rise as fast as you can

Pick it up, turn it round
Want you to see the sun rise as fast as you can

Open up, open up
Everybody’s waiting
From high above
Feel the love
Open up your windows

Let in the sun
Let in the sun
Let in the sun
Just let in the sun

Feel the air and breathe it in
Feel the warmth upon your skin
Looking out and looking in
Oooh
Every colour in your eyes
In reflection of the light
Every minute, every night

Open up, open up
Everybody’s waiting
From high above
Feel the love
Open up your windows

Let in the sun
Let in the sun
Let in the sun
Let in the sun
Just let in the sun
Oh let in the sun, let in the sun
Let in the sun”

 

A year has gone and past and I have grown and I have had to let in light to what is my life. Last year I saw take that with a friend and this was one of the songs that stood out for me. How the darkness can be eclipsed by the light the sun throws out, the height of how you stand and fight through the darker more difficult times and how it takes far more overcome the basic fight of what started this spiral off.

Influences from other who know the story of what has happened and how certain events can trigger memories. Not just the reason why I was off, but also the fact they forget certain mannerisms and ability to knock my confidence to the point it sends me spiraling back to march 2015. It takes a lot for me to go back and fight and be able bounce back and try and appear as if it hasn’t fazed me instead inside I am becoming more isolated and more alone. Some people won’t see why I am stepping away from people and less willing to do certain things, with fear it will be taken off or I am made to feel more incompetent and stupid. Knocking my confidence, it has gone from being 100% to 3% in seconds.

The past month has seen lots of changes for me. I have started to see someone and have started the roll out of introducing him to others within in my life. I have been able to comfortable remain calm within difficult situations until recently. A piece of my work has been taken beyond draft form into an official piece of work that is going be used across the entire organization. I have managed to speak politely to a man who wanted to bad mouth me to my new boyfriend. Also this week I have a goal that is a big event I will be going to with 3 people from pride. This is going to be my first big night since august. I have been out in Canal street a few times but I haven’t been out like this. Also having to fight my demons to the point where I stop trusting people but also my instincts. On my birthday I got rid of a highly toxic person from my life for the better as he is, keen to argue with me on my 30th birthday. From that he spread nasty vindictive comments to my boyfriend acting as if he is unable to understand why he has been ousted from my life. There was a clear reason why I removed him from my life, that the man was removed. Whilst he goes around damaging other’s lives but he has tried to destroy mine. While he has always been a victim and never the culprit he has damaged every bridge going.

It takes a lot to come back from depression and even hard to maintain the confidence to be me a feel like I should be. Trying to feel happy and actually be happy. When others cloud the light and make it darker in the room is it there right to or not? For me I always feel those that feel they have a right to anything instead of earning it and have to knock others confidence is just scared and intimidated about what is someone else qualities. No one has a right to knock or deter someone confidence of ability.  This isn’t about making people wanted to remain in the relationship with them. Instead people would want to leave them.

I am reliving the past but I will bounce back.

Alex

Story

Once upon a time a nursery rhythm was begun, the story of a princess finding there happily ever after. Mental health doesn’t help you see the happy ever after moment even if it is possible.

“Happiness is a journey. Not a DESTINATION- Ben Sweetland”

The story of seeing face adversity and battling through the dark and unruly conditions of the story the writer has begun to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the leading character the story is ongoing. It is when you reach the middle of the story the arch over lapping to the next chapter and the main characters becoming more at grief of the adventure. You see the story slowly changing there is a little more hope and light no bigger than a pin prick.

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Every day the small glimmer of light is getting the tiniest bit of bigger as each day goes past. The light slower becomes bigger and the warmth from the light is becoming more noticeable. The previous cold dark tunnel the story being written and you find a path. The path is getting a tiny bit clearer with the leaves being swept away from the main path with the gentle breeze. The past stories of the ghost writer are slowly disappearing becoming script on the wall so they piece of tattered posters that will come back and show reminders here and there.

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The nursery rhythm is becoming more realistic that the prince will come and save the princess from the clutches of darkness and unhappiness. They have a moment where the fork in the road is becoming more visible. The one turning is a clear route, the middle road is a mixture of clouds and light with some leaves and trees in the place. The other path, bleak darkness and unyielding path that has no relief, the relief you get from the other path’s you get in some rest bite.

The path is always undecided and they overlap are intertwined with the light and darkness. The complexities that life can deliver, all mixed in with the case depression can develop and voices become more difficult clearer and louder than ever before. They were never going to be quiet while the path is being decided. It can become filled with the trees & bushes with leaves dropped on the path.  No longer visible of where to turn or where to begin. Trying to find where to begin again or find where up is up. It can be difficult to see where you can actually start.

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Sigmund Freud once said “When inspiration does not come to me I go halfway to meet it” to be inspired by the past it can sometime take a bit of a push to find what makes us actually smile, the inspiration to wake up and get on with life and become the person we should be. Not only to inspire ourselves but also to inspire others to be happy and stronger. We are on this planet to inspire others to achieve great things. We are the movement that make the world spin and make those believe in what they can achieve. It takes a brave person to admit when they are in need of help to find the light and not be afraid of the what others will say, except those who are there to offer a shoulder and a hand to get you through and to inspire you to be better than yesterday.

We take the moment to be free and think we don’t need others every so often, the children stories where snow white has the seven dwarves or Cinderella they all had other people supporting them through the difficult times. So when we face an illness like mental health why do we hide away and shield the world away and pretend we are all ok? When really need someone when we are most at risk.

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“7 years” the traditional itch, and it some up life the movement and the goals to achieve hope. We go through stages and hope and we have the chance to grow and make the world a better place.

I am 30 and I have taken my fair share of battles and seen the destruction of others and how they have impacted not just my life but others. The voices become clear and loud but they get dwarfed by other voices. They become more distant no longer heard they are now being controlled by me. The voice is now my own. While others slate and try to destroy me and others around me. I have a belief if I wasn’t nice or a good person, they would try to destroy me instead they wouldn’t even know I existed or even consider the destruction they cast. The path is bleak at times and dark in places but other places it is sunny and happy, it out shown the past.

I have begun to believe in who I am and what I like, who I want to be and finally be happy. Not hiding away, slowly confronting the past and the dream of the future, settling down is becoming more of a happier and successful man. I don’t need or require a partner but it be nice to complete a small piece of the main puzzle.

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We see more and more within the news that the world is out to destroy itself in some form. We are losing why we are on this planet and the beauty to make it stronger and better place not just for us. For the future generations.

We are the change! We are future and We are writing the story for the future.

I am no longer ONE.I am Alex 

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