Last Wednesday I was late to bed as I had my first band practice/audition. I played for close to 3 hours and it went well but it meant I was later to bed and that coupled with excitement made me more tired than usual. I still got up as usual on the Thursday.
Friday night I went to bed reasonably early to nip tiredness in the bud but I had a slight pain in my right side. I fell sleep easily enough, as usual, but Rhiannon came in and woke me by jumping on the bed a bit. I’ve no idea what was going on. Anyway about 11:45 I woke up with pain in my side. Not an ache but biliary colic again. It wasn’t severe like before and I think it was caused by being tired, working lots lately and not drinking enough from the Wednesday onwards. I came down and lay on the sofa after lots of shuffling around in bed. I eventually dozed off and woke again about 2am and went back to bed. I still got up as usual around 6 am and went to work.
The rest of Saturday I was very grouchy and snappy. I knew I had to get some rest as I could see where it could head to fast if I didn’t and there’s no way I wanted to get to that state or place in my head and mental health. So yesterday I slept until 7:30am and had a slightly relaxed day. I still got lots done but this morning, after another good nights sleep, I feel rested and ready for my day ahead.
I’m going to work until Thursday evening at the latest this week. Then take time off before and after Christmas. Over Christmas I’m going to keep to my routine of getting up early otherwise it makes it harder in January mentally and also it throws so much of normality out for me. While off I’m going to get a few things done at home, at the field and at the allotments to keep myself focused. I’m also going to go through my goals for each week, month, year and years ahead and fine tune them a little more.
One goal I had for the end of this year was to get my business out of its overdraft, it had been in it for the last 3 years. I was £9938 into a £10k overdraft on 4th September this year and having only £60 available scared me, BUT it gave me huge focus and incentive to do it. About a month later I did it. I got out of the overdraft. So I changed my goal. I decided I wanted £8k in the business before December 31st. About a month ago I had almost £7k in the business in the black not the red and changed my goal to £10k in there instead. It’s down to just over £3k at the minute but with some money that’s owed, some bills I have just sent out and a bill I can make out in a day or two I have a ‘theoretical’ balance of about £11k! A huge chunk of it will be for materials, VAT (which goes out mid February) , the plumber and the electrician but of pretty much done it! Amazing but it’s given me even more drive to get more goals ticked off like clearing my personal credit card (which I’ve switched to a 0% interest card on balance transfers), to get out of my personal overdraft, to look to get a loan paid off and then to get a lot of money together to do some things with to increase my income.
I guess my point is that if one can get mentally well or ‘stable’ and use the energy, drive and passion they have to get focused on good goals they can turn things around. I write out daily goals as well as bigger ones. I even wrote out daily work goals and weekly work goals. It’s a great feeling seeing them get ticked off.
I’m tired today. It’s all good and work is good too. I made a mistake on an invoice this morning due to tiredness but I’ll rest well tonight. I’m getting on top of things really well now and am pushing for the future. I’m keeping my routine pretty strict and it’s amazing how it’s paying off. It all starts with a good morning routine.
I had an email today about the band. They’re practicing tomorrow and asked me to go along to play. I’ve chatted on the phone with one of them and they sound quite keen. All good stuff.
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.