Day 13: Volunteering

June 7th 2016

This morning I returned to the doctors hoping to finally progress to the next stage of treatment for my knee, it’s been playing up recently and it is steadily becoming more and more troublesome. I can now make an educated assumption that I’ve torn the white area of the meniscus in my white knee and that without treatment it will not heal; this treatment will most likely come in one of two forms, either a meniscetomy or a meniscal repair. Any discussion over whether to pursue this course of action is of course welcome, but it is now my belief that action has to be taken in order to be effective!

Think slow. Act fast.

-Buster Keaton

After my arduous walk to the doctors I strolled back through the park from whence I came with full intention of going back home, like  always though, life had other plans. There’s a church about two hundred meters from where I live, it’s a comparatively small building but I was nevertheless drawn inside through some means or another.

I explained my situation to the Vicar, she seemed sympathetic to my plight and to the cause that I sported, improving myself in every way. I offered my services, to see if there was any way I could volunteer and help out around the grounds. It turns out that there was.


Gardening

rose.jpg


Against my better judgement I accepted the task of weeding the new rose garden. I worked in the garden from about half past nine until quarter past twelve and completed half of the alloted ground, after that their regular gardener, Andrew showed up and relieved me of service.

I feel as though my volunteering wasn’t entirely for altruistic purposes though. I feel as though I offered my help because I was angry, I still am angry! Angry at the world, at myself and at the fact that there’s always one more fucking hoop to jump through, one more hurdle to get over, one more thing holding me back! Well fuck that!

I am the master of my fate, me, myself, no one else!

In my quest to become a better person I’d forgotten that sometimes there’s no good call to be made, sometimes there’s no decision that you can make that benefits all parties… sometimes you’ve got to put yourself first, and the consequences of your actions for others be damned! It’s selfish, but as of writing this, I don’t care…

I want, I need a win!

Day 11: Biking

June 5th 2016

Following yesterday’s encounter with Steph I was supposed to meet up with her today to start the Couch to 5k challenge, ‘supposed’ being the operative word. Following the worsening of my knee’s condition I decided that I should look into it a little more; aside from developing crepitus in my right knee, no doubt a side effect of the torn meniscus, I discovered that I am to keep away from impact exercises.


knee

Avoid them like the plague.

Understandably I couldn’t run alongside her… but that doesn’t mean that I was just going park-06to leave her to jog alone. No, I had a better idea. I was going to bike next to her. I know better than most that running on your own can be an overwhelmingly monotonous and uncomfortable task. You’ve got no one to pace yourself against, no one to talk to and, empirically all you’re doing is running when your body is hurting. Not such a fun time is it?

I don’t think that Steph was too happy when I showed up on my bike, but I think, I hope, that she understood after seeing that I’m wearing a neoprene sleeve on my knee to support it until I get treatment. Looks like i got off scott free!

The warmup started with a five minutes brisk walk, that felt more like ten considering the difficulty of balancing on a bike at such a slow speed before picking up, very slightly; the rest of the session was spent alternating between thirty seconds of running and one minute of walking. It was only the first run on the first week bearing in mind. I would like to think that I could have contended with it without breaking into a sweat…

I would like to, but I don’t think that I could.

The run seemed to last longer than it was supposed to, I’m not sure whether Steph was looking to run further than we had initially discussed or whether she simply lost track of mountain bikethe time; not that it mattered to me on my bike. The bike I use is a big, heavy, mountain bike meant for throwing around dirt paths and off-road trails, it’s not as easy as you might expect to keep it moving along side a runner.

I’m supposed to be going running with her in two days time as well, but if I’m being realistic, I don’t see that happening. I’m more than willing to bike alongside her again and keep her company, so that’s what I’ll probably end up doing- we’ll just have to hope the weather permits.

Thank you for reading.

Day 9: Pride

June 3rd 2016

Today adopted a slightly slower cadence than I would have either hoped of expected. At one point I would have blamed the slow pace of the days on my sleeping schedule, now though, I see that sometimes some days are more hectic than others and today simply wasn’t one of those days.

Today was going to be slow by its very nature- it’s Friday. Not only does no one really want to do any work on a Friday (myself included) but sometimes they’re not overly fond of the idea of cutting loose either. I was asked by some friends whether I wanted to come out to a club tonight, but given the amount I’ve drunk recently I decided against it; I wouldn’t even know what to do either, clubbing isn’t really my scene…

That doesn’t mean I don’t want it to be though.

You see, when it comes down to doing things, it’s much easier to do them (at least for me) if you take pride in them, and I’ve not taken pride in myself for quite some time. That’s not a statement that I use lightly, I’m not saying it to induce pity, Gods know I’ve wallowed in that for far too long.

For three years I’ve just swanned over to my wardrobe and tossed on the nearest shirt and pair of jeans, sometimes wearing the same pair for a few days on the trot before just rambling downstairs and starting breakfast. It unhygienic and it’s not conducive to keeping an active mind, something which I direly want.

This is somewhat of a short post because, well… nothing really happened, but even so…

Thank you for reading. Until tomorrow.

Day 8: Bounce Back

June 2nd 2016

Annoyed that yesterday was pretty much wasted due to my lack of initiative and drive, today I was having none of it! After falling asleep pretty early (for me) at around three AM I got up comparatively early at around Ten O’clock and hopped straight out of bed, surged down the steps and stormed straight into the kitchen. Breakfast time.

Breakfast consisted of two rashers of bacon lovingly topped with salt and pepper before being covered in a fried egg and sandwiched between two heavily buttered slices of whole meal bread. It was delightful, a real treat for the senses. After garnishing the side of the plate with a generous helping of honey BBQ sauce it was just the right combination of salty and sweet- it’s making me drool now just thinking about it.

The weather was on my side today, so after my breakfast I grabbed my Ipad and headed out memrisefor a stroll. On the Ipad I still have my, sorely neglected, Japanese app; I decided that since the stroll wasn’t too energetic I could multitask and try to recall some of my studies. I was pleasantly surprised to see that i had forgotten less vocabulary than I had initially postulated, there are, of course, still some holes in my knowledge but nothing that i wont be able to patch up with a few days revision.

The walk lasted for about forty minutes and, unlike my last jaunt, it was forty minutes of non stop walking, no resting or stopping to peer down memory lane, just walking and strengthening my knee. In retrospect I think a long sleeved shirt and denim jeans were probably incorrect attire; just judging by the amount I was sweating at the end of my walk.


exhausted-man-130214.jpg

I’m really out of shape.

It really highlighted the fact that I need some form of formal help with be overall fitness. In turn the most logical thing for me to do was to look at getting back into going to a gym. After looking through the gyms local to my area I, once again, came to the conclusion that a twenty four hour gym would more than likely be the best option for me, a gym with classes and workout sessions that I can simply sign up to and show up, something that will always keep me moving; something that I can really sink my teeth into.

As far as things happening today, that about covers it, so…

Thank you for reading.

Day 6: Memory Lane

Mat 31st 2016

I woke up late today, some time around two in the afternoon, I don’t know whether I needed the extra rest of whether I was just being lazy… most probably the latter of the two. So after rising from my pit, having slept through half of the day I sat down and wrote yesterdays blog post, I thought it came out pretty well, especially considering not a great deal was accomplished this bank holiday Monday.

After chowing down on breakfast I decided that I would make good on my promise and go Porridge (2).JPGout for my thirty minute walk, though in actuality it ended up lasting much longer. You see I was born around this neck of the woods, I grew up, in the early stages of my childhood, about twenty miles away and my Nan lived literally three hundred meters from my house.

Armed with that information I got on a bus and headed on over for a walk down memory lane. The greatest thing about where I lived was that, on a night, I could wander through into my parents bedroom and, from the height that our house was at, I could wave to my Nan in her house before going to bed. It was something we shared. It’s something I sorely miss.

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Miss you Nan.

My Nan died six years ago on the twenty seventh of December- two days after Christmas. But I decided that today I’d embark on a bit of a quest; I’ve never been able to pick out my old house window from my Nan’s perspective, so that’s what I did. I walked through fields and hills to get to my Nan’s house and eventually I ended up stood at her back door. I think my heart jumped into my throat because I actually started to tear up a little.

My sentimentality aside, I turned around and began searching through rows and rows of building tops, it must have taken me a good thirty minutes or so to find it, but, finally, I found my house! It was such an emotional moment for me, I found myself raising a hand to wave at no one, and that’s when the waterworks really started. I went from being completely steady to weeping in about ten seconds flat; for the first time in about six years I felt connected with my Nan again. It was fleeting, but powerful.

Eventually I had to return home though, the weather saw to that. I was improperly equipped for driving winds and torrential rain, so I put on a sprint to the nearest bus shelter.

Upon returning home I was pretty emotionally drained, I just wanted to unwind with a few hours on Total War: Warhammer before settling down and trying to come up with a new story idea to write about. Sadly however, the latter part of that statement ended in failure, I’m still out of ideas on what I should write a fan fiction about. The only thing I do know is that I want it to be about Zootopia.

But that really was it for today, it was surprisingly draining.

Thank you for reading.

 

Day 5: Bank Holiday Monday

May 30th 2016

Today is bank holiday Monday and, once again, I’ve been saved from the ever looming threat of having to start running by both the weather and the fact that I’d promised myself to my friends all day today. Most of my friends work, I’ve always fit in better with people slightly older than myself, so most of them are either former students or are simply members of the working public; today was one of those rare days where we could all meet up without any reservations on who would and wouldn’t turn up- we knew we’d all be in attendance.


Bank_Holiday
Bank holiday Monday is always a riot!

The day started off like it always does on these kinds of days off. At the pub. There’s something satisfying about going somewhere where they know just what your drink is without you even having to say anything; there’s also something satisfying about being able to drink whiskey at ten in the morning too.

I arrived second, Hannah was there first, she’s always prompt and early, sometimes too much so, I sometimes feel bad for her since I know she can be somewhere thirty minutes before anyone else, being late is not a character flaw Han has. By the way she hugged me (and the amount of glasses on the table) she was about three gin and tonics in. That’s what I call a proper liquid breakfast.

full englishBearing in mind my recent heavy drinking session last Saturday I was planning to take it pretty slow, we’d only be at the pub for the first few hours anyway. The tradition that has stood for the past two years is that we will all meet up for a late boozy-breakfast, before returning to our houses to play games for a few hours before retiring for the evening and letting, those who have them, spend the rest of their day off with their better halves.

James and Steven were the next to arrive, followed shortly after by Jasmine and Kieran. The landlord of the pub, although used to seeing us, didn’t look too impressed when we asked for six full English breakfasts. I think he had half a mind to refuse us, but being the good sport that he is, he didn’t.

Beakfast was delicious!

Breakfast passed quickly and we returned to our respective homes, logged straight onto

Dota 2
Legion Commander of Outword Devoured are my picks.

steam and sunk right into DOTA 2. Considering how awful we all are it shouldn’t be surprising to know that we lost three out of the five matches, but c’est la vie.

By the time that we were all done it was pushing six O’clock and those among our number with significant others were ready to depart for their evening engagements, dinner, movies… sex.  It left just me and Han really, we were both content to continue playing DOTA 2, of recent it’s been our personal penchant. By the time we were both finished it was pushing midnight, Han wanted to sleep and I was just about ready to cook dinner. This is how broken my schedule is.

So finally, after eating my weight in pasta, I decided to hit the hay…

At 5am!

Day 4: Paving a New Path

May 29th 2016

I don’t usually make a habit of staying over at friends houses, especially not when I’ve had promo_384x384a drink, but yesterday was the exception to the rule. If you read yesterdays post you’ll know that I attended a friend’s twentieth birthday and, as is customary for such significant birthdays like that, the party got more than a little out of hand. God knows after polishing off most of a bottle of Jameson (My whiskey of choice at the moment) trying to walk home would have been a horrendous idea.

When I did eventually wake up though it was late in the day, without a clock in the room my mind is a little sketchy, but from what I remember, when I finally got home, after a short trek on an uneasy stomach, it was about half three in the afternoon. Most of the day was done but I still had a few things that I wanted to do before tomorrow.

I started off by actually cooking something; if I was going to do anything today I’d need some food in me, I don’t suffer from hangovers but what I do suffer from is post-alcohol ravenous hunger. I started with two eggs, two sausages, three rashers of bacon, some fried tomatoes and mushrooms and finally two pieces of toast- all of which was demolished within fifteen minutes.

After eating my own body weight in animal products I had a few things that I needed to tend to, since tomorrow was bank holiday Monday. This started with a trip online to the digital world of Second Life; I had to sort out some admin matters with the group: reassigning roles and titles, filling out the story of the role play setting a little more and, of course, socialise with a few of my friends. This took a lot longer than I would have expected it to since I got talking with a somewhat estranged companion of mine, but all in all I enjoyed the experience.

The second thing I did today was to read up about the Couch to 5k. Initially I wanted to5k start running tomorrow, but after digesting all of the information they provided, they advise against running if there is any pain in your knee. They say to wait at least a week ,having done stretches and rested it up, before contacting your GP and, being that my pain hasn’t improved in over a month now it might be time for another check up. I don’t know whether doctors surgeries are even open on bank holidays, but I suppose I’ll find out tomorrow when I ring them.

This isn’t to say that I’ll be doing no exercise at all though; starting this Tuesday I’ll be going out for thirty minute walks a daily and will be resuming stretching my knee according to the schedule they sent me. I probably shouldn’t have stopped. With regards to my upper body however, I’m thinking that I should resume lifting weights but, judging by the results of last time (i.e: damaging my knee on a squat) I think I should find some gyms online and look to getting a program from them.

Mentally, there are a few things that I’d like to do, just to keep me sharp. This begins with reading again, picking up my reading schedule. Since I traditionally only read non fiction it fanfiction-dot-netwould make sense to try to read a modicum of fiction and non fiction a day. I propose that I attempt to read ten to twenty pages of non fiction a day and, to supplement this, attempt to read at least one piece of fan-fiction a day, critique it and offer helpful comments to the author. Just to get me started again.

Along side this I would ‘quite like’ to return to writing, I’m famously poor at keeping to a schedule, so assigning myself a task like: publish a chapter a week, would be a terrible idea. As such I believe that a more achievable goal would be to write at least three hundred words a day; more is welcome, less is unacceptable. At least that way I’ll be doing something productive.

Speaking of productivity, I need to start producing money. There’s no easy way to say this, I’m not the best employee, my work ethic is terrible and when it comes to dealing with people I’m cynical beyond all belief, as such, getting hired is often a problem. So, with regards to getting some money in my pocket, I think that I need to look at getting a job again, just to tide me over until September. So, late morning aside…

Today has been rather productive!

Thank you for reading.

Day 2: Taking First Steps

May 27th 2016

It is a completely fair summation that, over the last six months, I’ve remained mostly stagnant; yes, I have finally overcome my depression but doing so commanded almost all of my energy and attention, thus depriving me of seeking opportunities to improve my physical situation.

Well That Ends Now!

5k.jpgThe first thing that I want to improve is my waning fitness. With my weakened knee still playing up I know that starting off on a particularly intense workout regime would be a mistake, not only would I not be able to keep up with it but it would doubtless aggravate the injury and prolong my convalescence period. Instead, I stumbled upon something called: Couch to 5k and it’s exactly what it says on the tin- over a period of nine weeks, this should take you from barely being able to run for a bus (me in a nutshell) to being able to run five kilometers in thirty minutes.

The reason I decided that this would be a good undertaking was because my area is ‘reasonably’ flat, so there’s no massive inclines I’ll have to conquer, and the regime is, in fact, pretty lax- at the start. Plenty of time to both strengthen and heal my knee.

The downside to this plan of mine is so terrible, so horrid, that I struggle to find the words to properly explain my ardor for this consequence… but I’ll try. I have to wear… track suit bottoms… THE SHAME!!! Jokes aside though I genuinely can’t remember the last time I wore ‘trackies‘, it’s been about five years since I even owned a pair and even longer since I actually wore them. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with them, there really isn’t, I just prefer jeans, they feel nicer and with the way that I treat my clothes, the stronger fabric really does pay for itself.

This, for me, is the start of a long road, it’s what I wanted to do when I first started this seeing what's nextblog, create an archive that cataloged my day to day life and achievements that also inspires me to do more, to push myself to do bigger and better things and eventually become the version of me that I want to be.

So, here’s a song for you to chew on until tomorrow’s post, it’s fitting of this new start and new found determination I posses.

 

I’m just “Seeing What’s Next”

Day 1: A New Beginning

May 26th 2016

Greetings. It has now been ten days since I last posted on this blog and after due deliberation I’ve decided that the only way for this archive of my progress (or regress, as the case has been occasionally) is to start afresh. The reason behind this is quite simple; I started this blog because I was weak, because I was an iniquitous character who had, for lack of a better term, fallen from grace and, at the time of writing this, I still am that character.

It’s understandable that not everyone will like themselves, I know I certainly don’t, but depressionhere’s why: I’m weak-willed and have little self-control, I’m impulsive to say the least, I’m physically weak, spindly and not athletic in the least, I’m venomous in conversation and I’m cynical beyond all belief. That’s not the worst part though, the worst part is that I’ve wasted my potential and it’s left me with a chip on my shoulder that directly impacts both my life and the way I interact with other.

I am not a positive input on mine or my friend’s lives.

better-manA recent crisis made me reevaluate this blog, its purpose and format. I started this blog to become a better person, it was to be my anvil upon which I forged out a new version of myself, though blood sweat and tears I was supposed to use this to create a better me, someone who I’d be proud to call a friend…

That didn’t happen though… but there is reason behind it.

When I started this blog in November 2015 I was in the midst of severe depression and this blog only started at the behest of my therapist. Depression dominated my life, I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping and, in the long hours I was awake, life felt pointless and devoid of joy; I just wanted it all to end so badly. There wasn’t a waking moment where I didn’t curse my existence with every breath!

So the reason for this new start is two-fold. One: I recently turned the page on that chapter of my life, I became depression free for the first time in I don’t know how long, it was only fitting to mirror that same change in the format of this blog. Two: I am not proud of evolution of the first one hundred and eighty-three days of this blog, it seemed to follow the trend that, as I got better, the blog got worse and I just wasn’t content with that.

Not in the least.

The first six months of this blog were, in hind sight, dedicated to digging my way out of depression, and now that quest is over, I can dedicate the rest of this archive to bettering myself and improving the quality of its content.

Thank you for reading.

Day 183: Pushing Too Hard

May 15th 2016

Today, late at night I found a friend in crisis and, whilst he didn’t ask for my help, I decided to throw in my two cents and, as is my nature, only made things worse; I wasn’t very sensitive and my advice, I admit, was phrased in such a way that it was asymptotic of an accusation that he wasn’t doing enough to improve his situation. To this statement I can only say vehemently that: that was not my intention and that I feel terrible for making him feel like that.

I feel guilty.

That’s significant for two reasons, the first is that I actually feel guilty, I’m not the most empathetic of people and i struggle at the best of times to share the emotions of my friends an peers, so feeling guilty to such a severe degree is, well, quite simply staggering. The second reason why this is significant is because this man, who shall remain nameless, is family to me, not in blood, something much stronger and I care for him to such a degree that when he hurts I hurt. He’s guided me out of the dark so many times before, now I want to do the same for him.

I pushed too hard and it absolutely enraged him, but I stand by what I said, I was wearing my heart on my sleeve and I articulated myself as such. The whole ordeal was very emotionally draining but I believe the resolution that we reached, three hours later, with cooler tempers, was the best that could be achieved in a short amount of time.

As I write this I’m fading in and out of consciousness, it’s five to four in the morning and I’m far less than articulate at the moment, the wording of this post is shocking, the structure is all wrong and my punctuation is sub par, but I don’t care…

All I want to do right now is sleep!