The endorphins are flowing!

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The Gang – Minus the Bride & Groom!

I’ve been keeping up the exercise for approximately 7-10 days now, and although that doesn’t seem like a long time for most, it is for me. Yes, I have done it before, 6 months of hard work led me to shed 3 stone (18Kg) back in 2014.

But this time it is different. Of course, it’s 4 years later, but my mind is different, my focus is different, my life is different and my life’s purpose seems to be dangling in front of me on a piece of string, actually looking promising, rather than not there at all.

I don’t know where or not anxiety, depression and the other feelings I have had played a part in me feeling awful prior to these last 2 weeks, but I am certain in saying so much feels like it has changed.


I would say honestly that I am not feeling 100%, purely because I have had this ‘dark cloud’ or some sort of coloured cloud over my head for so long that I have actually forgotten what ‘normal’ feels like – Maybe I have never known? It’s a kind of sad thought but I have to be realistic here.

Over the past two weeks I would say that the depressive feelings in my head, mind, body etc have cleared up the most. I don’t want to jinx it now and have an episode tomorrow, but something is working.

I am sure my Dad will read this and smile to himself because he has repeated this for so long now it’s like the following words are engraved on the inside of my eyelids:

“Get to that bloody gym and do some exercise, you will feel better!”

Yeah yeah… of course parents are right, but you never tell them that – Not to their faces anyway! You will never hear the end of it trust me – You will be telling someone of their ‘wise words’ and inevitable interfering one day when all you will see out of the corner of your eye using your peripheral vision is a little smirk from them, basically saying…

“I told you so.”

Argh! Haha!

Lesson learned I suppose but it’s so frustratingly funny… I think that’s the best way to describe it.

I have a 10K run coming up at work and also a climb up Snowdon so I want to be prepared as best as a I can. Yes, I could have started sooner, but I didn’t, so quit the moaning and let me suffer now by squeezing all the exercise into the next 4 weeks!


Friday saw one of my very good friends getting married to the love of his life. Gav & Al got married @ the Albright Hussey near Albrighton and it was a brilliant day! I was best man, which was an absolute pleasure. I was accompanied by the love of mine! It’s times like these which make my life worth living.

Perhaps this conversation is too deep for a Sunday night before work but I have to type this somewhere! It’s not something I desperately want to get off my chest, but it is something which I wanted to share – Also a piece to look back on when reflecting on the good times and seeing what really makes me smile.

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Aber AirSoft – Stag Do for the Groom

I had arranged the stag do for Gav which was 3 weeks prior to the wedding – I never drank alcohol. Yes, I have passed my 1-year mark but I want to keep going. If I can stay sober for 1 year, stay sober through a stag do, stay sober through a wedding – This pretty much makes me invincible, right?

This is definitely a superpower – Because I bet I could pick 1,000 people from the streets of Shrewsbury who would not be able to complete the same challenge as me!

A diamond in the rough

The photo here is a random one from this week. Lucy, posing, from a walk through Nesscliffe woods with other miscellaneous animals and humans.


Unfortunately, I am not writing a post here about my devilishly good looks. I haven’t got enough time this year to even begin to start writing about them.

As strange, modest, happy and ill-timed as my sense of humour seems at this current moment in time, it’s the complete opposite story for the way I feel.

a diamond in the rough is referring to the fact that no matter how shit things feel sometimes, regardless of what or who has caused them, there is something good in your life; you just need to see it, be shown it or find out how to see it yourself.

I currently have this going on right now. After having a busy day at work I have come home and I’m just struggling to keep my head above water. Don’t worry, I’m not in the bath and slowly slipping under from the tiredness, it was a metaphor.

I love this writing. It’s so strange how I can feel ‘down’ yet still have the courage to write something silly and try and make the readers of my blog smile. I’m sure some of you must do because I am guilty at laughing at my own jokes!

This ‘funny man’ sometimes is what keeps me going. Whether I am on my own, with a friend or even a group of people, sometimes he says something to me, and I smile to myself; temporarily occupying my mind and taking it adrift from the dark clouds which linger above.

A fuzzy head & sweaty body

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After Monday’s episode of feeling down my head feels very fuzzy. As always, it’s so hard to explain. It’s almost like depression, but not. The way I feel right now is a little tired, and almost as if my head just wants to give up on everything. It’s saying:

“This is too much. I can’t handle all these emotions at once.”

I can. I really believe I can. I just need to work smarter not harder. Don’t you just hate that phrase?! But when it relates to you it’s so annoying because it’s true!

Recovery is now on the cards and I need to move on from this weeks happenings and remain focused. Being proactive not so reactive.

I can’t be that because I’ve just ran 4 miles in a fairly good time (for a big lad) without moaning about it being too hot, too far or even too much effort. See the above photo or STRAVA link on the right-hand side of this blog.

I’m a fighter. I don’t want to and I am not going to give up on this because it might kill me! But that is NOT going to happen, so whichever family member / friend reads this and thinks the worst – you don’t need to go into a meltdown and ring me to make sure I am ok! I’m good.

I’ve made it! A WHOLE YEAR. Crack open the Jack!

Today marks the day of 1 whole year without alcohol. I am very emotional. I really can’t believe I have done this. It just goes to show that if you put your mind to anything… it can be achieved!

When I first started, I remember counting the days, weeks etc in terms of what had passed. It seemed like a lifetime ahead of me to complete the year. The last few weeks/months have been a massive countdown!

It’s come around so quickly.

It’s time to celebrate with another year and add something else to the list.

Chocolate? Sweets? Carbs?

Pffft. No chance. Alcohol is bad enough!

Roll on the next challenge.

From riches to rags!

I’ve been feeling great these past few days (still not 100%) and now I feel a little less than a bit less than 100% – Bit of a tongue twister for you!

I am keen to do exercise which is good – I have only started again this week after 5-6 weeks of being lazy, but even 3-4 days of hard exercise has prompted my brain to want to keep me going – This is good.


I have been feeling a little low so I would say this is because I have been comforting eating – Too many sugary foods (my addiction) which has been counteracting the HIIT exercise and having a negative spiralling effect. When I am down, I feel like eating comfort food which are usually the ones containing sugar so there is no way of winning at the moment! It’s a catch 22 scenario.

I guess you just have to break free. Break the concentration the second you go to eat something which you know for a fact you will regret the moment after stuffing whatever it is you are drooling over into your mouth.

FOCUS SAM. FOCUS.

It is really hard to describe how I am feeling right now. As I write this post the sun is shining through the windows and can’t help but be annoyed as to how hot it actually is. When I am feeling a little down – There are so many things that get on my nerves. I just feel like screaming into a pillow…

I’ll be back in 10 minutes.

Ok. Better now.

My mind must be slightly broken, I was on a high yesterday and felt so positive. Now I can sadly say I feel almost the complete opposite.

“Hmmm what’s going on here?”

I am recalling now when I used to feel down before. I used to mope around, feel sorry for myself, hope things would just work themselves out and life would be a breeze and a walk in the park.

I have a tension headache, I feel like nothing is making sense and I dreading this next week because it’s looking into the unknown. The possibilities are unknown (legs begin to involuntarily bang together with anxious thoughts) and that affects me, especially when I am in this state.

This is all very strange, because when I think about it, I don’t actually know and I can’t think of a reason why this is so bad. Yes, I have a few things going on in my life which aren’t going the way I want them to, but, so what?

I wish I could just think this way all of the time. It’s not the end of the World. These bad/frustrating things will end soon and I know I will come out on top.

I can’t let this thing win. I just can’t. This dark cloud over my head is just lurking over the top of me and the shit-storm it is chucking down is giving one hell of a battle.

Depression & Anxiety Strategy Numero 1

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0615 this morning. 15 degrees. A view for miles. Beautiful.

Ok, Geno (aka Dad!) has been moaning at me for a while now about getting out and about, fit, super fit, blah blah blah… It’s not that I don’t want to do it, but it’s hard to get motivated, especially when you are a little out of shape and carrying a little holiday weight… from 2004!

“Citalopram has remained @ 20mg”

This has to be key for me. I have been taking these tablets for almost 1 year now, and although they have helped me (increased my levels of serotonin), I don’t really want to be taking them.

“Why are you taking them then?!”

Ok, as humans, if we don’t want to take something, then we usually wont, unless under extreme duress, of course. But let me get you to understand that depression (referring to last year) is a killer. It sometimes gives you NO alternatives.

The believed the only option I had at the time was to take this drug I am now all so familiar with, called Citalopram, and pray to God that it was going to work.

I started to do many other things alongside this, for example, writing this blog, being more upfront, open and honest about how I felt with almost anyone. I also used to remain active, listen to HEADSPACE and I went hot chicken (similar to cold turkey) on alcohol.

See the widget on the right-hand side for the few days I have left to complete my challenge!

“I’m no alcoholic”.

I’ve recently started exercising again, hard and fast like I used to do it! I have big legs, good stamina and I am super-competitive, so I must combine all of these attributes of Sam and make myself into a super-Sam!

OK, maybe I am going a little overboard here, but this really does help me when I am feeling down. I’m sure scientists can reel off their tongues a big ‘spiel’ about the technical terms involved and all the levels of serotonin being released – But I don’t need to know this, as long as I feel better, then I don’t mind!

STRAVA Screenshot
1st place out of 75 people who completed the same challenge.

This is a screenshot from my STRAVA account. I walked up Rodney’s Pillar this morning @ 0540. I had been the leader for a while (see screenshot below), but I was recently knocked off top spot. The challenge here was walking at pace from bottom to top, taking the usual route of the spiral path around the mountain and following the road.

 

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This screenshot was from the mobile version of the GPS app – This one shows my time at the top, beating the person below me and also beating my older time using a different account! (now deactivated).

My alternative time was 36 minutes & 50 seconds which is shown at position number 3. This was then beaten to my annoyance but it only inspeared me to go and walk another even quicker time!

Thriving on my own personal performance is something I have always been exceptionally good at, especially when leaderboards, excel spreadsheets or tables and involved!

My next aim is to beat this time set by myself this morning of 36:01.

 

I have added a new widget to my site – See on the right-hand side when you scroll up the page. This is a link to my STRAVA account – You can click this to follow my progress and see how I am doing. I have set my self a target to beat the time and slam in a 35 minute walk – This will be tough, but nothing is impossible.

The next stage of my fitness will be to run up to the top, I will be aiming for a time of around 30 mintues dead to start with.

So… in summary, as I seem to be the master of message-delivery-procrastination when it comes to telling you about my blog – More exercise. Record the events. Be competitive. Eat clean. Keep blogging. Keep talking about mental health.

STAY OFF THE ALCOHOL!

 

What’s alcohol?! 

 

Can’t Think of a Title

The title is not important. But hopefully it’s got someone’s attention.

I have been writing my blog now since last July 24th (2017) and from the bottom of my heart, I really hope I have got someone’s attention, made their day, or hell, even saved a life!

If that person somewhere in the World is reading this, thinking:

“Yeah Sam, you’re just another blogger trying to cheer people up over the internet and tell your story”…

Well yeah, sort of, but I often try to make the point that people are not alone in times of sadness, depression, anxiety, low-self esteem etc. The person who is reading this (feeling alone) is not alone, you are not alone. You may feel it. And so do I, at times (he says, currently writing a blog at 10pm at night sitting under a tree!) but it’s part of being human.

We all have to be alone sometimes. It’s just a shame that some of us have to be accompanied by anxiety, depression, sadness… the only things that we don’t want to be keeping us company!