Fighting the ‘fat’!

Okay, I’m not exactly fat, or obese, before the someone thinks it, but I want to change my body shape. 16 stone is my current weight, but weight doesn’t bother me, it’s how I look and how I feel; I guess that’s the same for most of us.

The alarm goes off at 0615 and I barely have the energy, ability and determination to rise from my pit!

I eventually get psychologically pushed out of bed, as opposed to physically, and start my journey for the day.

Running just over 1 mile in around 11-12 minutes, I get back home with not only sweat on face, but a smile. Inside and out.

I wouldn’t say this is the start of me eventually one day becoming the fastest runner in the World, but it’s a start and the first step is always the hardest!

Avocados on waffles with a coffee as my reward.

Mr Will Power.

Why is it so hard to remain focused on something you feel so passionately about? Does there always have to be an underlying reason to stick at something? The mind boggles.

Okay, so 24th July 2017 was the day I stopped drinking alcohol, completely cold turkey. The underlying reason was depression, coping with this better and trying to do all I can to eradicate this from my mind, life, everything!

So that’s why I believe deep down I was able to stop something I felt I was so ‘addicted’ to and something I had done socially for the past 16 years. Since the age of 14 (not to make me sound too much like an alcoholic!) I had sipped the odd beer or so and it continued from there, like any normal boy/man does when he grows up, it’s just the norm these days.

521 days on, I really do feel that alcohol has played a huge part in being depressed. Now I’m not drinking, I feel like I have a lot less ‘down’ moments and it’s really help me focus on something big. On a bit of a tangent, the longest stint of any employment I have endured at the ripe of age of 31 has ben 18 months, and I have just completed 17-months alcohol free. This, to me, sounds very strange, because I can’t seem to hold a job down but I can stop drinking something at the flick of a switch!

Does it really take something like depression, which can bring you minutes away from suicide, to make you pull your finger from your ass and stop something which is so harmful to you?!

“Yes, the mind does boggle”


So, what’s it going to take for me to stop eating and drinking shit which isn’t good for me??

Diet starts Monday, diet starts tomorrow, I’ll start the gym next week… blah blah… how many times do people say that on a weekly basis? I wonder how many new year diets will start on 1st Jan? Hmmmmm…

Maybe I will have to have a heart attack, be inadvertently submersed into a diabetic coma and be hit by a 3-tonne double cheeseburger causing a broken arm … all at once, just to realise what I am eating on a regular basis is actually pretty bad for me…

I think stress, anxiety, depression and all those other health-related worries are key. When people are stressed, anxious etc. when some people are stressed, they eat, comfort eat, and this is where the addiction begins. For me, this is spot on, and I am sure there are a lot of others out there who suffer from the same symptoms as I am describing her and thinking

“Yes, this guy does have a point here” *puts down the big mac and fries*


What will tomorrow bring?

Hopefully not a heart attack!

Giving something back; Becoming a Pastor, not a Pasty!

Is it Friday or Saturday night? If you are stuck for things to do, volunteer yourself as a Street Pastor, it’s a fascinating, compassionate, caring and phenomenal thing to do. What a way to spend 6 hours throughout the night.

Monday the 24th, Christmas Eve, marked the 17th month anniversary of my t-total mission. It’s almost been 18 months since I’ve had a full beer, shot, bottle of lager, or anything like that of an alcoholic nature.

I am very proud of myself; and so are friends and family. It has been a very surreal journey, especially as I went ‘Cold Turkey’ and just stopped one fine day back in July 2017, but the days, weeks and months went past and I haven’t looked back since.

Ever since I was helped on the streets of Shrewsbury, by a Street Pastor, back in the days of getting drunk, being paralytic and probably (most definitely!) being a massive pain in the arse, I have wandered what it would be like to see things from the ‘other side’ of the bridge.

A few weeks ago. I was driving back through town late at night, when I saw the Street Pastor van. I decided to park up and speak to them about my passion for helping people and wanting to demonstrate how I felt I could help the local community by offering my compassionate and caring nature to those in desperate need of help.

So, last Friday, I volunteered myself to help the Street Pastor volunteers and parade around the streets of Shrewsbury caring, looking after and being compassionate with the people who would be inevitably be drunk, depressed or in need of some urgent attention. I am stating these ‘issues’ quite clearly because from the age of 18-29 I was a normal ‘lad’ who went into town with my friends, did the usual drink thing and then ended up somewhere I either didn’t know, didn’t want to be or didn’t like.

The night started at 10am where we met in the office, had coffee, tea and a chat for about 45 minutes about how the night was going to pan out. I first thought we would be jumping straight into the action and I would soon be covered in blood, guts and sick, but then reality took over and I realised we were in Shrewsbury, not the computer game Grand Theft Auto.

Being a Street Pastor, to my understanding, is a Christian-based volunteer group which was setup to provide those with a caring, compassionate and dedicated nature to help those who are in need of the utmost delicate and urgent attention, when out in town on a Friday & Saturday night when they are having this so-called ‘fun’; something which I now like to think about as hell. The hangovers are just the start of the beginning of my long list of ‘Why I hate drinking alcohol to the excess’.

We comprised of two teams, one was foot patrol and the other was in ‘The Donkey’, the name of the vehicle which carried all of the gear for the night out; defrib, coffee machine, blankets, flip-flops and lollipops etc.

I started on foot patrol, alongside 3 others, (sorry guys, I can’t remember everybody’s names at the moment!) and we started to edge around town. First port of call was The Alb, where we liaised with the doorman to see how the evening was panning out for him and to see if he any ‘action’; this, being trouble.

We then moved along Smithfield Road and greeted passers by, making our presence known to the locals or visitors to Shrewsbury, basically, anybody and everybody. I noticed that the Pastors have a well-known presence in Shrewsbury, even before I started my shift, going back many months & years, I had heard of there existing and the great work that they do.

We started seeing a lot of people around Albert Shed, so we walked towards that end of town as a 4-person group. All of a sudden, this moderately drunk woman came across and told us what a great job we were doing, she rambled on for a little bit, but it was nice to hear. We were just about to move on when she told us about her abusive partner, how he called her a *@&% on a regular basis, made her feel so so small and was horrible to their kids. This was a shock, as I didn’t think people we this upfront with their feelings and emotions especially to total strangers, but I guess this was for 2 reasons:

This lady needed and wanted somebody to talk to, and the Street Pastors were there. Secondly, she had been drinking, this gives people the confidence to come out of their shells and speak the truth about what they are ‘passionate’ about. In this case, the woman was passionate about leaving her husband in the new year, finding a new lease of life and leaving all of her ”shit’ behind her.

We solemnly wandered further and headed up into the town, where we scanned the main streets and back alleys for people who may be in need; this could range from people who are fighting, those who are intoxicated and unable to walk / stand up straight, those who look down and depressed or those who were simply on their own. We’d quite often say:

Hi mate, how you doing? You having a good night? What’s been happening?

This was simply to start a conversation. Now, if you were to say this to a randomer in a supermarket, they would probably look at you all weird and want you to leave them alone, but drinkers, they become your best friends and you can’t stop them talking once they start!

Oh! I forgot to mention this! The Street Pastors have 2-way radios, and they are linked to the same channel as those who monitor the town’s CCTV, SAR (River Search & Rescue), the Police, doormen/women and other volunteer groups, so if in danger, or in need of any type of assistance, you can radio through with a certain phrase and people will come to your aid – Pretty cool!

There is genuinely too much to write about from this night, but the one main thing I want to write about is a man we come across about 11 o’clock. His name, I will keep anonymous, because disclosing this might reveal his identity, somehow.

What I will say is when we were called to a certain fast-food shop, we were informed of a young chap who had told the doorman that he felt suicidal. I didn’t know this information, until after I had seen him, but as soon as I saw him, I knew that he wasn’t drunk, or sick, I knew he was depressed. Whether it was a sixth-sense, or just the way he looked, or maybe because I have suffered from this before, but somehow knew what was wrong with him.

A couple of the more experienced Pastors attended to this chap, and I was in the background talking to another of my colleagues about this and that. We didn’t like to overcrowd him, because when you feel that way, talking is the last thing you want to do, especially when there are many unknown faces around you!

We ended up taking this chap to the Sanctuary, in Abbey Foregate, which is a 24-hour mental health type support centre. We ensured he was taken care of in here and then left and headed back into town. That was our job done. We intercepted this man at a key time in the night, any later and something much more serious could have happened to him. Although we found him in a really down and what looked like to be a depressed state, he could have acted on his thoughts a lot earlier. It felt very good to look after this man and take him to a place of safety. We prayed for him in ‘The Donkey’ and wished him a speedy and healthy recovery.

The best thing about then night, by a long way, was the very last person we looked after. He was severely intoxicated, paralytic and hadn’t a clue what was going on around him; he only had alcohol to blame. He has been carried from near the Shrewsbury Hotel by two very kind gentlemen all the way to Efes Kebab house. He had then been slouching on the bus shelter seat for some time, and had attracted quite a crowd.

We tried for a while to get his name, get something which meant we could identify him and just tried so hard to get him to speak, but it was no good, he was gone, just in a world of alcohol. The lads which has brought him all the way from the pub decided to search his pockets… keys, tobacco, rolling papers, loose change… everything but an ID.

I don’t know how, I really have no idea why, but someone all of a sudden shouted out the name ‘Sam Edwards’; as this is my full name, I was quick to respond with a “Yes?” – But nobody replied back to me, it turned out that this paralytic guy had the same name as me! Not only this, but his sister was also called Kirsty, again, the same as mine, and last of all, we found out from his sister (through contacting her on Social Media) that his Dad was actually on his way to pick Sam up from his drunken state.

“Woah woah woah! What the hell is going on here? How can this be happening to me? I don’t know if we are born and supposed to be in certain places at certain times, and I don’t know if the person who created us has a unique plan for all, but this was too much to be a coincidence!”

This was all too familiar! My dad used to do this for me when I was in my early 20’s, just like Sam was. All sorts of things were racing through my mind and if I am honest, I was just in complete shock as to how many things I shared with this person, especially the name. This doesn’t happen a lot, if at all, in Shrewsbury. To have the same name as somebody, is fairly uncommon, but to be looking after them, when they are doing what you used to do, and have the same sisters’ name as you and have their Dad pick them up, just like mine used to do for me is just unreal!

Posting in quick succession!

My posts are like buses at the moment… you know the rest of the cliché.

The featured image was from tonight – One of my favourites for a long while. The sun setting viewed from Hopton, Nesscliffe.

For my future reference, I really felt like drinking last night, and also tonight too. I went to see my friend Rob in Bradford last night. Although it had been planned for several weeks, during that period there has been unforeseen circumstances some to light depicted by some bad news in my life and I am not coping very well with it.

Jack Daniels was so appealing to me during the last 24-hours. The most I had was 2 minuscule sips but I could of easily had a lot more. This just shows how strong I am sometimes. I’ve worked hard to be T-Total at the toughest of times – If I can stay off it now and I can stay off it for anything.

It’s not been the easiest past 1-2 months for me personally and others around me to. I have struggled to come to terms with things, especially my own decisions and reasons for my actions which I just can’t explain.

How do you come to terms with losing something that has been a part of you for such a long time?

A lot of people reading this will probably say that this is life, shit happens, blah blah blah…

But that’s for a normal mind. I can’t seem to comprehend these scenarios and I struggle with the stressful times in life. Especially sad moments.

Failure to see beyond a bad time in your life can often be one of the minds’ greatest downfalls. The ability to see into the future when we already know it will be ok.

Everything is repairable.

Everything is replaceable.

Everything can be recovered from.

All metaphorically speaking, naturally.

Tenacity

I don’t know how to describe it, as always! Ha! (Not actually funny) but I haven’t been feeling 100% (which is everyone else’s 70%) these last few days.

When the old boy asked me tonight,

“What’s made you feel like this, what in particular?”

I just couldn’t give him ‘proper’ answer. When I thought hard about it, the only thing that come to my mind was that it feels like I can’t be bothered with anything. Work, family, friends etc – It sounds horrible because everyone around me means the world to me – And they all know that – But that’s the only way to describe it.

It’s like a very small part of depression. The full picture is not wanting to see anybody at all and hiding myself away, but this was temporary in the sense of not wanting to see anybody for maybe a few hours.

Maybe these feelings are ‘normal’ and we all go through them from time to time, maybe I need to ‘man-up’, but whatever people think, they aren’t me so they just don’t know. It’s sad to think that I don’t really know what ‘normal’ feels like anymore.

Anyway, I wouldn’t say that I forced myself to go running, but I made a good effort and run / walked a bit under 4.5 miles so it was a valiant effort tonight. I maybe could have left it a little longer to run after tea though!

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.

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.

Temporary weird feelings: Is this infamous ‘Dark Cloud’ trying to break through?

The last 2 days have been somewhat strange. Tuesday was the worst because it felt like the feeling of the big ‘D’ was coming back to haunt me.

Before I go any further, I am not in a state of depression, I am merely describing what I believe are the ‘outskirts’ and how I am overcoming them.

I woke that morning with a feeling which I have never been able to describe very well, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, it’s a feeling the same as when you look out of the window; you don’t think, see, smell, taste, enjoy or listen to anything around you – It’s just starting into nothingness.

Again, it’s hard to even imagine, because if you try and think about nothing, something always comes into your mind.

Anyway… I had to force myself yesterday to get out of bed, yes, it was a little later than intended, but at the moment I am between jobs, so I believe that my ‘purpose’ in life has been temporarily taken away. Nevertheless, I got up and started completing chores.

As the day went on the feeling of nothingness stayed with me. I couldn’t help but contemplate thinking about thinking nothing, it’s a strange one.

Even when people say “Just keep yourself busy, it will be better for you”.

No. Depression isn’t like that at all.

NOTHING, and I mean LITERALLY NOTHING stops you thinking these things.

You might be keeping your brain, mind, body, soul, heart, hands, arms, fingers, even your whole body busy, but DEPRESSION and it’s associated feelings always penetrate your soft exterior skin right down to your strong fighting core.

We really are just big human apples.


I don’t know what was different about this time, but I was speaking to people who are very close to me, and whatever they said, whatever they did, whatever they suggested, it somehow worked, a little bit.

I’m talking now from my current state of mind and I feel a lot better after 2 days.

What was this? Was it a glitch in the mind? Was it a blip? A malfunction?

I started to ‘program’ or ‘re-wire’ my mind last year when I just about had enough of depression, and focused very hard on so many different attributes which would later go on to be very useful for me. Therapy, blogging, no alcohol etc.

Maybe these last couple of days had been my brains electronic system temporarily breaking down because of an outside virus was attempting to hack into my system!

This all sounds so bizarre to some of you, I am sure of it.

But what’s interesting …


TBC… lunch time …


… is that when we have a cold, or man flu, or a stomach ache, or a headache… we don’t analyse our feelings of pain in this much detail! Of course we don’t. We don’t compare it to life and death… we moan for a little bit, wait for it to go away… and then BANG! It’s gone.

With depression, however, we have to make comparisons, we have to analyse, we have to think of worst case scenarios… because it makes us.

It’s like our brains are desperately trying to find an answer, a solution or even a complete resolution to this whole dilemma just so we can deal with it as best as possible, should not return, or even to eradicate it for good.

How can something make us feel so bad about EVERYTHING in our lives that we feel that sometimes, there is no other option but …

Time to breathe.

I took a trip up Rodney’s Pillar yesterday with Fin, my step-sister, I suppose, well that’s the easiest way to describe our relationship! Oh and Troy. The dog.

It’s a hard-ish 45-minute walk, for those who are unfamiliar to the area. For those who are familiar, it’s relatively easy but not after a few weeks of filling your body with Turkey, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and many a bottle o’Becks Blue.

This was the well deserved sausage sandwich post-walk!

Anyway… finally!

It just made me think, hence the post-walk blog post now after a little time for reflection.

What I’ve been experiencing these last 2 months has been phenomenal. It’s so hard to describe when someone comes into your life like they have done with me and you’ve just been bombarded with emotions, mostly good!

I guess it’s good sometimes just to get away from any situation, think, breathe, calm yourself, relax and just contemplate it all.

The Pillar is a great way to take your mind away from everything, apart from the burning sensation in your quads!

But on a serious note, without too much personal detail, I’ve been finding things a little difficult and I’ve struggled this last week. Anxiety, stress and paranoia have come to revisit my mind temporarily but it’s manageable.

Some things just take more time, perseverance, determination and hard work. Work smarter, not harder, Sam.

When you are bombarded by said emotions as mentioned above, your mind is somewhat paralysed with the overwhelming feelings they each individually omit.

You do things which may hurt people.

You say things which may upset people.

You ask things people won’t like.

You think things you don’t want to ask.

But for some reason, you feel compelled to action these thoughts. And the moment you do, your brain thinks one thing, and one thing only.

SHIT.

But… for those on the receiving end. Know that it’s NEVER malicious. It’s never intentional. It makes people sad when they don’t want to do something but also feel compelled to do it.

And then do it. And then regret it. Almost immediately.

It’s just new. It’s exciting. It’s hard to handle sometimes. Sometimes we are irrational and we don’t think before we act.

All we can do is try.

Make others smile with our own unique actions.

Make them aware how much we love them.

17 down and 45 to go.

It’s so rare in life, to find someone who understands, loves and cares for you in everyway you can possibly think of.

I’ve had relationships in the past where I have ‘loved’ people, and it was reciprocated, but they never expressed their love like you have, did, and are currently in the process of doing!

What is it about the human mind which links two people together so strongly, that no matter where they are, who they are with, what they are doing, the connection of love, friendship, companionship, and every other possible word you can think of, never seems to fade, is so strong and is something which when created, seems unbreakable?

There must be a synapse in the brain which triggers a thought and creates a binding contract between your heart and theirs. What else can it be? It’s the best ever feeling but I want to know what it is.


What is it about a person that we fall so much in love with? Why?


No matter how many highs, lows, bad and good points, low self-esteem thoughts & negative things you think about yourself, somewhere out there, in their own little unique way, is someone waiting, loving you the exact way you want them to. Maybe they won’t think of you every second of the day; but guaranteed, you’ll pop into their head and they’ll smile about you, for some crazy reason!

I’ve found someone so special. She knows she’s found someone to! (Modest haha!)

I’ll be honest and say at this current moment in time, I’m terrified of my depression coming back. For those who have read my blog will know I was in a really dark place just under 5 months ago, but I persevered, fought hard and had the tenacity of a rat climbing a drain pipe to reach the top and get myself out.

It’s that time of year again when the weather can alter my mood, and there isn’t a lot that can be done about it. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – I’m not sure if I have this, but the last three episodes of depression have been in the winter months of December, January and then November.

Being involved in a new relationship which is a temporary long-distance one is proving to be hard, but worth it. It’s a constant battle at the moment between feeling happy and sad but I know we will beat it together.

On some scale I am worried that all this new and exciting emotion will affect my bodies way of handling depression. It feels like it might bring on another episode but I am battling hard to eradicate this from happening. Not again. Please.

Being an agnostic (save the Hot Fuzz jokes!) I am reluctant to personally believe that there is a God out there.

But do you know what, if I was ever going to pray at any time in my life, it would be now. I’d pray for my depression not to come back, especially at this time of year…


… especially now I have met this unique person I am happy to call my girlfriend, my love, my soulmate and my jigsaw.


I’m having a hard time as it is and I don’t want any other sh*t to deal with!

Thanks – To whoever is up there in the clouds…

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