hantsbear: (Marsupial Pride)
Haven't written anything of any consequence in the Journal in what seems like an age.  So, I suppose this is a bit of a where-I-am-now post.  Geographically, I'm still stuck in a village with one bus an hour except on Sundays where there is nothing.  One shop; one pub.  Tried to learn to drive about 2 years ago and came up against a brick wall, despite the fact that this time I was learning in an automatic rather than a stick shift.  Bought a (old) bike which I hadn't realised (due to my complete absence of nouse and mechanical skills) had a dodgy clutch and ended up selling it at a loss to someone who did have the requisite mechanical skills.  That and His Lordship worried every time I went out on it put the kybosh on that.

Mentally, been going through the wringer.  Went back on Venlafaxine again for 6 months, then found a local sexual health charity that was offering  inexpensive counselling, so have been working through with that for a few months now, which seems to be working fine. especially since my councellor works to the Person Centred methodology, with which I have a degree of familiarisation.  It is a minimal amount they charge, but I have volunteered to help them man their tent at Leicester Pride next month.

Healthwise, now have a formal diagnosis of Sleep Apnea (which many have suspected for years) and now the proud posessor of an "Inflate-A-Steve" as I call it.  Still trying to get used to it; it will take time, but given the potential health benefits, I am determined to make it work.  Noticed today that I managed to swim further than I could before starting the treatment, so the snatches of sleep I am catching with the device on seem to be having some effect.  However, I am feeling particularly fat at the moment - my mental health has meant that my comfort eating has been worse than usual.  My consultant at the Sleep Clinic at Leicester General tells me that one of the benefits of the CPAP treatment is that I should start producing more of a hormone that stops these cravings, so here's hoping.  His Lordship not really helping here as he tends to take the p--- out of any attempt to undertake any form of exercise, from his well-worn seat on the sofa.

Work - oy vey.  Where do I start?  I can't really go into much detail as we have a social media policy which prevents me from identifying who I work for online, but I am being micro-managed out of my head.  Not by local management who, for the main part, are supportive but those above, including one manager who I refer to as The Smiling Assasin as she pretends everything is nicey-nice and wonderful, whilst stabbing people in the back at any opportunity.  Paranoia levels high!  Took a test last weekend for another department which I felt I did well in but of course my self doubt kicked in.  Should hear before the end of the month on that one.

Musically, seem to be listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell of late, thanks to a local chanteuse by the name of Sally Barker who achieved a degree of fame a couple of years ago by getting to the finals of the UK version of The Voice, being coached by Sir Tom Jones.  She has managed to return to her roots, playing local venues and touring, despite being offered a recording contract which, frankly, would not have shown the British public how truly versatile she is.

On the travel front, apart from our road trip from Oakland to Seattle last year, spent a few days in the northern Netherlands based in Zwolle, which I throroughly enjoyed.  A bit of winter sun in the Algarve too, which is just what the doctor ordered.  And, of course, the few days by the Loire last month.  Got a trip to see little sis in Sweden in October, along with Florida in December as a Fiftieth birthday treat from His Lordship.

Well, I think that's everything for the moment, apart from losing my beloved maternal grandmother a couple of weeks ago - she was 94, so she'd had a fair innings, but it's still hard to let go of someone you've known for 49 years.
hantsbear: (Where Are We Going?)
I ring the doorbell at precisely five o'clock (no earlier).
The door is opened by my therapist, who says only "Go through", motioning me into her room.  I know to take the furthest chair, as the clock is behind me - a trick I learnt from one of my counselling tutors.
Only when she is sat opposite me, does she start to show interest.
And I tell her of my anger, resentment, pessimism, poor self esteem.
And she empathises, reflects and paraphrases; makes suggestions.
After fifty minutes, she quietly says "Time is up.  Do you want to come the same time next week?"
I agree and fumble in my bag for my appointment slip; meanwhile, she is almost at the door as if trying to get rid of me as soon as possible; her face blank and there is no goodbye as I thank her for the session.
And that's it for another week.
hantsbear: (3D Me!)
I've started seeing a therapist again.  Partly because the department pays for 6 therapy sessions as part of its wellbeing program; partly because whilst I have travelled a long way on my emotional journey, I still have things to try and sort out.  And this is part of that cleansing process.

Tonight, towards the end of the session, the therapist suggested something that gave me one of those clarity moments - something clicked into place and made sense.  I'm not going to go into any detail as it was something personal to me, but it sort of shocked me.  I'm still reeling now.

But it made sense.
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
Long time (and maybe even short time) readers of this journal may be aware of my ongoing depression issues; currently I'm on 75mg of Effexor XL a day (not that much, apparently, but more than enough as far as I'm concerned!)  My current medical practice requires that I have to see a doctor every time I need a refill of these.  So, it's kept constantly under review.  Up until Russ's death, I had been contemplating cutting back my dose, but would need a new prescription to get the 37.5mg tablets.  Well, recent events changed that.  So, at my review today, I spoke to my physician about being referred for Cognotive Behavioral Therapy.  Alas, as is typical with the National Health Service, there is a six month minimum wait list.  Still, if it goes someway to repairing a somewhat broken koala, it can't be a bad thing...
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
I'm not sure what the counsellor at The Samaritans made of the large hairy sobbing mass sat on the doorstep around 11am this morning, but they were there when I needed them.
hantsbear: (flower bear)
Was reading through my friend entries this morning, when I noticed on [profile] siegewolf's journal a mention of [personal profile] swampy joining his friends list.  Whoa, says I.  Now there's a name from the past.  I read back over his journal; seems he's doing ok.  I don't know how I feel though.  I know when he e-mailed me to say he did not consider himself to be a friend of mine and that there were times that I embarrassed him/made him feel uncomfortable, I was hurt and angry as I just didn't understand (see here).  I'm still hurt.  Just not as much.  But maybe he's someone who should be put behind the door marked "Gosport" before it is slammed shut, locked, bolted, padlocked, sealed in concrete...!
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
Two rejection letters, tears and another call to the Samaritans.

Things can only get better.

Can't they...?

(okay, so my choice of music really isn't helping!!!)
hantsbear: (Tea (nicked from who knows where!!!))
There is an image that haunts me.  I am falling, rolling at constant speed, down a wide, circular marble staircase.  As I fall, all step back but look on with horror; paralysed and unable to help.  It's just an image.

People are helping in their own sweet way and I am grateful.  Grateful for support; grateful for the valentine messages on valentinr.  Bear with me - I am trying to weather the storm and I am hoping that once I move; close the door on Gosport and open a door somewhere else that I will accept the positive step that it is.  Yes, I will rant, rail and howl from time to time.  It's cathartic and I need to do it.  I am not going to bottle it up as that way leads to more serious mental damage.  And the one person who gets the worst of it, [profile] rock_bear, does not deserve half the crap I throw at him, especially at the moment.

I am still damaged goods.  But I am repairing.
hantsbear: (Default)
Regular readers of this journal will know that I seem to constantly battle with my own internal negativity. To quote Russ "Not only is the glass half empty, but there is a chip in it."

So, I want to ask - what do you do to get/stay positive?

Thanks *HUGS*
hantsbear: (Mountain koala)

At the behest (and Fierce Eyebrows) of [livejournal.com profile] rock_bear , I finally bought an ironing board.  Now, I am the kind of guy who waxes lyrical over any form of clothing that is no-iron, and live my life in creased T-shirts.  However, one of my sets of bedlinen is 100% cotton and looks really scruffy when it comes out of the tumble drier.  So, this time, I ironed it and it looks sooo much better.  And I found it strangely theraputic to smooth out the wrinkles to the gentle hiss of steam and Kate Bush in the background.  Could this be a new beginning???

On other stuff, just took 2 days flex time vacation (much to the shock of [livejournal.com profile] utahmtnbear who was unaware of just how much vacation time we Brits get...) to potter about and catch up with stuff that has been a bit neglected over the last month or so.  The theatre had a production of Macbeth on; I ushered, but really wasn't interested interested in the show.  Just wanted to hang around and talk to people in the foyer while the show was on.  Had the beard trimmed on Saturday; pottered about on Sunday, with duty phone calls to [livejournal.com profile] rock_bear , [livejournal.com profile] utahmtnbear and [livejournal.com profile] kaoskrew .

hantsbear: (koala and mountainbear)

I know I'm on a bit of a downer right now.  I know precisely why and I'm sure regular readers of my scribblings are in a position to do the correct math.  Needless to say, there has been much firm growling and comforting noises coming down the phone lines from Nottingham.  Even though he's in a very similar predicament.  There should be an exchange scheme for disgruntled Americans to swap with a disgruntled Brit.  I know of at least one candidate champing at the bit...

Meanwhile, in a reasonably successful attempt to cheer myself up last night, I went here...

hantsbear: (Just me...)

Want to throttle your staff?  Fatigued from a hard day in the gulag?  Or just generally run down?  Fear not!  Doctor Hantsbear has the perfect solution!  Forget Prozac; stuff Paxil; throw away your Wellbutrin!  And try... )



hantsbear: (moisturise me!)
...to those of you who contributed to my last entry.
hantsbear: (moisturise me!)
Pondering on the way into work today (and not feeling depressed or anything) what is good about me...

...I seem to make friends easily
...people think I am witty
...I can cook
...I am very loving
...I try to think the best of people

And then I got stuck. Any ideas?
hantsbear: (grrrr...)

And so to my last session with my therapist.  Food for thought; largely about stuff covered in pervious journal entries, like my needing to politely tell my father to butt out.  Like my need for change.  And, yes, we did agree that I could possibly be having a mid life crisis...!

As for this morning... how I managed not to snap people's heads off I don't know.  A continuation of yesterday.  So, you can understand I was a little pissy to say the least.  And I daresay tomorrow will be exactly the same.  Urf. 

hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)

A few years ago, when I was but a lowly Civil Servant, I moved job location about every 3 years or so. However, I was transitioned over to EDS in 1998, which at the time I thought was a good career move as I was in IT. It seemed very much government policy at the time to offload major chunks off to the private sector, and I had formed the opinion that if I wanted to continue in IT, the Civil Service was not the place to be. Mainly because it seemed that IBM, EDS, CSC et. al. were carving up most government IT between them.

Fast forward about 6 years. Okay, I have had several different IT jobs within the site, but I am unhappy. Mainly because I have this underlying sense that IT is not what I really want to do. And I feel stuck - this is not least helped by the recent survey in Gay Times that rated Gosport as the 6th. worst town in the country for gays to live. It doesn't really help, I guess, that I can't drive. And gave up motorcycling because I no longer felt confident in it. Otherwise, I could possibly look for work in other towns within driving distance. However, that doesn't take into account the A32 (the main road into Gosport) which is a notorious bottleneck.

Fact of the matter is I don't know what I want to do. I have no confidence whatsoever in most of my abilities, and my CV shows nothing but computing jobs for the last 14 years. I have this vague notion of just jacking everything in, selling the house, putting some stuff in storage and going back to just renting a room. But, there is a certain degree of comfort outside of my work life. Even though, most of the time during the week I feel like an empty husk, only coming to life when I'm around other people.  I suspect I do not have the courage to make such a step.

Maybe I'm "just" depressed. I have an appointment with my therapist next Tuesday afternoon, and at our last session, he mooted that we might try for closure next week.

Right now, I just don't know.

hantsbear: (bajoran)
So, I head to the clinic in the back of the beyond once again, for an evening appointment with a new therapist. The last one was constantly cancelling through ill health, so I had to make arrangements to change.

My new therapist is neatly dressed; colour co-ordinated, drives a nice sports car, number 2 cut hair and matching goatee. And I'm looking at him and seeing this huge neon sign above his head flashing the legend "BEAR CLONE"!!
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
Too much bad stuff going on the last few days; nothing horrendous, but enough to throw me psychologically for the moment. I'm not going into it in LJ as fortunately I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow.

Grrr...!

Nov. 21st, 2003 04:47 pm
hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
Things I Find Irritating About Humans # 3284

When you leave a message for one of your volunteer counsellors saying that you will contact them during the day Saturday or Sunday, which they take as meaning it's okay to call you after 10.00 pm and you'll be bright and breezy and eager to help.

Yeah, right.
hantsbear: (Default)
Spent yesterday with Russ in London; trying to sort each other out. We went to Madame Tussauds and the V&A, and lunched in Covent Garden, drinking Pimms and Lemonade, don't y'know! I was trying to persuade him to take a holiday; he'd been talking about San Francisco, but had managed to talk himself out of it. I worked on him a little longer (yes, Douglas, I did suggest he took a detour to Portland... ;-{))} ). We shall see...

We adjourned to the King's Arms and were both approached by a young bear who seemed to know Russ, and proceeded to ask some quite direct questions. Russ was getting a little growl-y so we moved outside, only to be followed a few minutes later. Eventually, we made our excuses and I headed back to Gosport.

Today was hellish; it really dragged. The only saving grace was I had a perfectly civilised conversation with (name deleted) about the history of the British Isles. Otherwise, there was bugger all to do.

Finally managed to get to see physician to get a referral to a consultant psychiatrist. Watch this space...

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