I went along to a live music evening in our village last week to meet someone who’s band need a drummer. I know the guy too so that’s good. When they next get together to practice they’ll let me know so I can go along and have a play/practice with them.
I’m pushing my business along as well and am keeping my eyes out for a mentor so I can go to the next level. Maybe I’ll get advice from a few people. I’m keeping more than on top of work too and I put a lot of my keeping well and keeping focused down to good circadian rhythms started off by a really good morning routine. Getting good sleep, writing goals down daily for each day and furtherahead helps me focus too. Good structure. It’s good.
I worked some of yesterday. I couldn’t do one of the jobs as the chimney was too tall to fit the cowl on my own but I’ll go back and fit it with someone else. The guy also wants other work doing too so all good. Afterwards I took my son to the beach and we did some casting practice then fished a bit. We packed up after a few hours and went to another beach to fish. He loved it. We got home before 9pm and I wasn’t late to bed. It’s all good.
This morning I slept in until 7:28am, just before the alarm I had set, got up, drank some tea, went to the allotments just after 8 and then went home for breakfast. Just after 9:20am we drove to the city and I’m waiting for a haircut. It’s the first time in a few years that I’ve had a proper haircut rather than just shaving it all off to bald or stupidly short. It’s made me realise how good my mental health is now. I figure I’m really getting back to being myself. I want to look smart again instead of not caring. Yesterday I had shave too. I want to look good for myself and customers. I’m attracting good things to me in life again.
I’ve got my second head cold in 2 or so weeks and it’s slowed me slightly but not much at all. I won’t let it.
I’m really busy and taking more and more on. I’m pushing my business along again and am increasing what I’m doing. I’m heading towards needing someone to come work for me. I’ll still keep pushing more and more. I need to get a website again for my building business plus I’m looking at ways of increasing income to help with my plans, and as a safety net. I’m looking into something online like possibly selling things like tee shirts but other ways too. I’m looking at getting my van sign written again so everywhere I drive I’m advertising myself.
I’ve had several years where I couldn’t face any of this and I figure if you’re not moving forwards you’re going backwards. I’ve been to scared and too unwell but now things are good I need to keep going. I’m setting some very high goals to achieve in the next month, the next year and then onwards. Some are short term but they’re all adding up to longer term goals. I’ve spoken with my accountant about them and he’s said to keep doing what I’m doing and he also said how well I am compared to last time we met. I’ve spoken with a mortgage adviser about buying properties to let. I’m doing the groundwork now instead of last minute or late, these goals are longer term, which I normally would. Leaving things late puts pressure on me and makes me make rash decisions. Everything from now onwards has to be pre planned and I know that things will go smoother but I’ll still have things to face. I’m not looking at what might go wrong, anxiety, and I’m not looking at past mistakes, depression, or tying myself in knots. I’ve written clear plans down but need to hone and fine tune them. It feels amazing to be able to do this. I’m also aware that I might get unwell again and that’s why I’m doing this too. It will take the pressure off if it happens.
This morning I had an idea, a way to maybe help teenagers understand mental health. My idea was to offer to talk to a class or year at my daughters high school. It felt the right thing to do to try reaching a few. To help more understand mental health and how it can affect us. I ended up talking myself out of it through fear most of today. That is until I figured I should just do it and push myself out of my comfort zone. There’s nothing wrong with fears especially if we try to face them. If we face them they often aren’t anywhere as bad as we had told ourselves. I’ve never given a talk or spoken publicly. I’ve had opportunities but, through fear, always said no and made my excuses. Often the excuse being that if you give a talk then people think you’re an expert or authority on the subject. Having watched lots of ted talks I realised it’s not about being an expert but often about personal experience. I know I need to push myself and my boundaries more, in the right way of course.
So it’s got me thinking about my fears but also how much I would say if talking to 13-15 year olds. How could I explain psychosis? How could I explain going to a mental health hospital for a first appointment while seriously unwell? How could I make them aware of others mental health and especially their own? How could I help them understand it’s ok to not be ok and that it’s ok to seek help? It’s given me lots to think about even if going in to school to talk never comes off and it’s made me start to face my fears in life. This is what I wrote in the email:
My name is Darren and my daughter ( name removed) is a year 7 student at ( name removed of school). I’m writing for a couple of reasons.
Firstly to ask about school policy regarding mental health and mental health awareness.
Secondly with a possible suggestion. I have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder 1, I run my own business, I live a healthy lifestyle and I also blog about my own mental health and living with bipolar. My blog has over 4,000 subscribers and I have also made a couple of YouTube videos about bipolar and bipolar recovery. I have been level for a while now and it is a relief but it’s also made me aware of others and what I could possibly do to help other than blog. My possible suggestion is regarding talking with students to help them understand mental health from the perspective of someone living with it daily. I’ve never spoken in public to an audience before or a class but if you think it might be of benefit to some students maybe we could talk about doing something.
I am quite happy to share my blog with you so you can look through if it’s of any help. www.thebipolarbuilder.com
Everything is good and I’m very busy. I do have the start of a head cold though so finished early yesterday even though my moto now is to push forwards. Sometimes one has to step sideways to move forwards further.
I’ve realised I need a mid term goal to aim for as well as daily, short term and long term goals. Maybe my 4 month and 8 month goals need to come to the forefront of my mind more. I’ll get there. I just need to keep some good sharp focus while also not going too far with goal obsessions, although it is healthy being obsessed about my goals.
It’s all good. I do expect wobbles and sideways movement. Keeping a good balance and not overworking and getting unwell are good goals for me.
I’m tired and it’s affected my focus a little. It’s made me realise how important sleep is yet again. It’s also made me slightly doubt myself with my goals for the future.
The brain amazes me at how it can try to revert back into past thought patterns when trying to build upon new ones. Sometimes just a small something said by someone can affect things and although they say they’re just trying to keep you grounded etc it can be slightly detrimental. It can switch the brain into the self doubt thought process again, as I’ve noticed a little bit today, but I’m not accepting it. No. I’m pushing through it and keeping my goals in sight. All of them from short term to long term. It’ll be ok though as I’m not letting it creep deeper.
I had a call during the week from someone about some building work they need doing. He had the same last name as the Dr who first sent me for the emergency psychiatric assessment. I thought how funny it would be if it was actually him. I’ve just been to meet him about the work and it was actually him. We chatted a bit and he thought I looked familiar. He said how well I look. It was nice to see him again and he’s one of a few people who I ho early think have saved my life. I’m going to do some work for him so it’s kind of strange but good. Almost role reversal in who is helping who.
This morning on my way to work there was a diversion which lead down a single track back road. I had a car in front. It was frosty and the sun was low behind us. Then there was a lorry coming in the other direction. We hardly had anywhere to go. The car in front pulled into an opening on the side. I couldn’t quite get in so I figured I’d have to reverse up and pull up the bank. I checked my mirrors. I couldn’t see anything. Started to reverse and after moving maybe 3’ I hit something. I checked my mirrors again and couldn’t see anything. I jumped out. There was a woman in a car, a car narrower than my van, right behind me in my blind spot. I told her I’d pull over once the lorry had passed. So I did. She got out almost in tears. She’s American and said how England has been so hard on her and asked for a hug so I gave her one. I told her things will get better. My van has no damage and her car just has a piece of plastic that’s popped out. I chatted with her and said how things can seem really bad but that they will change. I explained how I couldn’t see her in my mirrors. We had to move so drive down the road to give our details etc. I told her that it’ll be ok and to go get it looked at and that I’ll pay for it to be fixed. She’s just bought the car and is struggling in life. She was amazed at my kindness and my help. She shouldn’t of been so close but shit happens and it seems like she’s had more than her fair share of it. I’m hoping that by paying for her car to be fixed her luck changes. I know we create our own luck but sometimes when something good seems to happen it changes our perspective and starts setting us up for good things. I think I’ve helped her in more ways than one. I’m glad I could.
I’ve been giving thought to success the last few days or so. My business is doing really well and I’m pushing things along and it’s made me wonder a few things. What is success? How does someone define success? Does everyone want to be successful? What is successful to one is just routine for another isn’t it?
For some getting up, getting dressed and just having an ok day is a success. For others success might be setting up a multi-million pound business and they still don’t think they’re being successful.
I think that im successful now I’m getting on with things again and staying level. Keeping work very manageable, although I’m doing 10+ hour days and Saturdays, is really good too. I’m loving work again. I’m loving challenging myself again. It’s still in the back of my mind not to let it tip or slip into something more but my drive is very focused and has been for a few months. The focus is helping so much as it’s a good focus and not a a bad obsession. I’ve realised obsessions CAN be good if they’re the right kind and healthy. I know that sounds like a contradiction too.
So am I successful in my own mind? I think I am getting there. Maybe it’s a hindsight thing. Maybe when one looks back at tough times and realises they got through them they know they’ve been successful. I guess it’s about keeping going through the tough times.