Plans for October

October 2020, here you are already. What a year.

Hey folks, I hope wherever you are, you’re safe and well.

So, yes, October has arrived. the world is frought with difficulties, one of the main ones being the ongoing threat of Covid-19. Again, stay safe, wear a mask and wash your hands.

Okay, where are we? Right, plans for the next month.

Sometimes it feels like I’m just struggling to stay afloat, much like loads of us over the last few months. My mood has been rocky as all hell recently and this last week, especially, I’m being particularly conscious of how I manage my responses to things. An even mood is required!

In this last week, so far, so good.

And creative projects?

There’s NaNoWriMo 2020 with Ghostland (working title 😉 ), which I’m quite excited about. I have some of it planned but not a scene by scene breakdown yet. The only time I’ve been successful doing a NaNo I had a solid plan. Let’s see if I can do that again.

I have other writing that I’m doing this month. I have a weird sci-fi horror story that I have been struggling with. It came down to a problem with the point of view. I was trying to do something different with telling it all from a 1st person, from a main character’s viewpoint. I was good but it just wasn’t clicking.

I changed the viewpoint a few days ago and, boom, it works so much better.

I’m going to set some writing homework for myself this month that will give me some practice with a viewpoint story. Just need an idea to hook it on.

What else?

The current lockdown measures in Scotland means that tabletop gaming is a no-no. That’s just annoying. No Warhammer. No X-Wing. Meh.

It does, however, give me a bit more time for painting before my next game.

My Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard are all but done. Two Chimera transports, a five man squad of Scions, 4 Heavy Weapons Squads, a normal Command Squad and a sniper one, and a handful of individual character models are all that are left. If I push through then I can get then done and that’s all the IG I currently have. It’s been ages since I’ve finished a large army project. It’s so close…

And other than that, it’s just the normal getting through life stuff.

I hope your October is a good one. 🙂

Managing Expectations…

So, this happened…

Then, this happened…

Initially scunnered, I’m now sitting at my desk with broken tanks, glue and a sense of peace and acceptance.

Some happy memories, and Headswim

I’m up late tonight, scribbling down some notes for the novel, and I’ve got some Headswim playing in the background.

Headswim you say? One of the best bands you’ve never hear of.

Pardon me for getting all introspective here.

I first saw Headswim at the Cathouse in Glasgow, when the Cathouse was at it’s previous location. If it remember correctly, and I probably don’t, they were on a three band bill with Tool headlining and, for reasons I can’t remember either, they couldn’t play that night.

It ended up that there was barely a dozen folk there that night to see the other two bands. My friends and I stuck it out and, after the gig when everyone decanted to the open club downstairs, we hung out with Headswim. They were really great guys, and it was a great night.

I’m not sure if this is the “Lockdown” talking but I miss things, like going to a gig and hanging with the band after. Getting drunk with pals and acting like a bit of an idiot. I understand that being a husband and father means that I have to adopt a responsible attitude but it’s not like Ruth doesn’t champion any social thing I get around to doing.

And something odd seems to be happening to my social anxiety at the moment. I’ll ponder and update you later. Thanks for listening, internet.

It’s 2020!

Congratulations!

As the Earth survives another successful orbit of its celestial master we can look over the last year, or decade, and see what we’ve achieved and what we’ve learned.

But let’s not bother with that. I’m actually in a good mood and I don’t want to spoil it. 😀

Three things of note though:

  1. The wife is a teacher now, half-way through her probation year. She loves it and I’m really chuffed for her.
  2. My mental health is still improving despite a rocky few weeks of backsliding. I’m still hear and breathing. Sometimes it’s enough just to have that. 🙂
  3. My little girl turned 10 last week and she’s a great kid. She helps light the darkness up.

So, let’s march into the next 10 years with a touch of optimism. Who knows, it might actually work out.

bullet journals, and other things

First things first:

bulletjournal.com

That’s where you’ll find the main info behind it. Bullet Journals are part diary, part journal, part calendar. And the way it’s done means you’re in control of how the information is saved, with an indexing system that’s quite adaptable.

I got a new notebook today. That’ll serve as my new journal for 2019.

My last one covered October 2017 to June 2018. This was the period of increasingly poor mental health leading up to my wee visit to hospital. And the last message in the journal? My suicide note. Yikes.

Anyway, the plan is to see how I can use it to improve myself rather than chart my slow deterioration into madness and self-destruction.

Let’s end on a happier note.

I picked up the film Species the other day. Once the child has settled down to bed I’ll enjoy the delights of a H.R. Giger designed Natasha Henstridge.

Lovely.

mental health : words of kindness

As I claw my way out DEFCON 1 (not quite to DEFCON 2, but I’m definitely not as self-destructive, or just plain destructive, today) I was thinking about small moments of kindness and, while I don’t depend on them, how appreciative I am when they happen.

And, when I remember to do so, I like sharing kind words to folks. It’s not about me or “look at me, ain’t I grand”, but some people rarely hear a kind word and I’d always rather be kind than the alternative.

Mental Illness is a real thing and it’s everywhere. And kind words do help.

I was doing my internet banking, seeing how poor we are in a month that has five weeks between paydays, and while I was trying to reconcile things I saw a wee button at the bottom of the window.

“Got a problem or question? Chat to an advisor,” it said, or something quite like it.

So I clicked on it.

You: Hey William

William: This service can provide you with general help and guidance.

It cannot be used to give product advice or deal with queries relating to personal accounts.

We would never ask for your full account, card or logon details, memorable information, passwords or PIN numbers, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.

Can I take your name please and how may I help you today?

You: Alistair

William: Hi Alistair, how can I help you today?

You: Are you having a good day?

William: Yes thanks, I hope you are too.

You: i certainly am. I don’t have a problem. Just saw the chat button and I thought i’d spread some happiness. I hope the sun shines on you today. And I mean that in an actual, emotional and spiritual way. 😀

William: That’s much appreciated, Alistair. Many thanks and the same to you.

You: Not a problem, big chap. Laters. 😀

William: Goodbye and thanks again.

mental health : the current state of mind

This is the sound my mind is currently making, this or something very close.

It’s such a strange thing. The last few days have been so bad, so dark, that it’s really difficult to think clearly about anything at all.

Am I at risk? I don’t know. I don’t think so. Certainly I don’t have a plan.

That’s the trick with reaching DEFCON 1. Usually that’s,

1. Everything is worthless.
2. I have a plan for ending my life
3. I have the means to do so.
4. I have reached that point where I’m calm/resigned/comfortable with my imminent demise.

The first time was around a year and a half ago. I woke up that morning and I knew, I just knew, that today was the day. Pills and booze. That was the plan. I’d given up and I was entirely comfortable with ending it all.

The second time was a much faster deterioration. I had returned to work (not long after the unexpected death of my wee sister) and I was finding it had to complete basic tasks. And I was telling myself that I should be doing what was my usual job and beating myself up when I was finding the even the simple stuff too much. It wasn’t long before I was back in DEFCON 1.

The hospital happened.

And that was a good thing. That was last summer. The last year has had its ups and downs.

Right now, today, as I type this, I’m at DEFCON 1 & 1/2.

I’ll keep taking my pills. I’ll keep working on my CBT. I’ll try to keep my mind occupied.

Hopefully soon the sound my mind make will be a bit more like this:

update : mental health

I had a whole screed written about this but my computer crashed and I lost the file I tend to put blog ideas in. Ah, well.

Long story short…

  • last summer
  • suicide attempt
  • 4 weeks in Gartnavel Royal Hospital for change of meds and being kept safe
  • out
  • regular meetings with GP
  • work let me go
  • started CBT

And I’m still here.

My management were really good about it. But they had to let me go eventually.

Oh, FYI, Gartnavel Royal staff are brilliant.

Obviously I’m leaving out the finer details. But the fight for sanity continues.