I’ve started to take baby steps towards turning my life around, it’s a very slow process but I think I’m getting somewhere. I had a meeting with the Princes Trust last Friday and they are happy to put me on their Enterprise Scheme which is the best result possible. I’m going on a three day business skills course in the middle of Feb to teach me about tax and business plans and the like. Then I get some one on one support to get me up and running and finally a mentor to support and encourage me for the first couple of years. I couldn’t be more excited! If I can turn what I love into a proper profitable business, it would be wonderful. I am struggling with some guilt over it. I have a degree, I should have a respectable high-flying office job, earning thousands. I need to come to terms with crafting being a valid job and that I’m not worth any less for doing it. I think the business training will help me to view it as a proper opportunity, not just a hobby where I occasionally sell stuff.
I’ve also started therapy with someone I feel I have a good rapport with. He specialises in Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy, which as far as I can tell is like CBT only decent. Thankfully I’m not being limited to the standard NHS six session cure all, which is a good job as we’ve had five sessions already and haven’t got much further than discussing what problems I want help with. It’s hard work but fascinating from a purely scientific viewpoint. As for whether it will help, I think it’s too early to say but he tells me it will and that gives me some faith. This week I told him of the problem of which I do not talk, the event which turned me from a somewhat quirky individual into a deeply damaged one. One day I will find the strength to blog about it, I feel it gives a lot of insight into where my problems started and why they’ve developed as they have. He was the first professional who I feel has taken it seriously and not belittled it or told me it was irrelevant. I’m working one on one with him for an hour a week, he’s technically retired but does one day a week because he enjoys it so much. From next week, he wants me to also join the group he runs in the afternoon. This is a frankly terrifying prospect but he feels it will help me to talk to people who’ve had similar experiences and can relate. Thankfully at the moment there are only two other people in the group so I’m hoping it won’t be too overwhelming and the extra support would be nice.
I’ve even started going to the gym. I was shocked to discover I need to lose a third of my bodyweight to get back to the weight at which I was happy with my figure and healthy. It’s a daunting prospect so I’m trying not to focus on it too much and instead aiming for small improvements in fitness. I’m trying not to blame myself too much for the weight gain, a lot of it is from antipsychotics and not having the motivation to move from the sofa. At the moment I’m doing EA sports on my Wii four times and going to the gym at least twice each week. I’ve also cut down to eating my dinner off a side plate just to get things started. The hardest thing is beating my tendency to reward exercise with chocolate which is somewhat counter productive. I certainly don’t look any slimmer yet but I am sleeping slightly less and feeling more energised.
Finally, I have forced myself back into my tip of an office. It had got to the stage where I was avoiding it as I couldn’t face the mess. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been slowly tidying and finally you can see most the surfaces and the majority of the floor. I’m just waiting for some more storage to be delivered so I can finish off. Hopefully I will then be inspired back to crafting which would be kind of useful seen as I want to make a business out of it!
For once it seems things may finally be going my way. I’m treading cautiously though, I know I have a habit of pushing too far too fast and driving myself back into the ground. I also feel more than a little bit guilty, why am I doing so well when so many in the Madosphere are struggling so much. It isn’t fair. I almost didn’t publish this because I don’t want to be seen as looking down on people from my feeling OK position. I’ve been avoiding twitter a bit for similar reasons, I don’t want to shove my new found optimism down peoples throats. I wish I could share this feeling with all of you, maybe we could each have a few hours a day? I think I’m scared, I’ve made being mental so much of my identity that with less of it, I don’t really know who I am. I’m terrified of being cast out from the bit of the internet where I’ve carved myself a comfy niche, not mental enough to be a mental any more. Sorry, I seem to have turned a positive post into a negative which isn’t what I wanted.
Basically, things are slowly changing for the better. I’m not sure where this will lead to but for the first time in years, I’m almost looking forward to finding out.