The Bus Chronicles: A Wee Catch Up

My Bus Chronicles posts are usually full of weird goings on or negativity. Well, you may be pleased to know that this one is a lot more positive!

My Bus Chronicles posts are usually full of weird goings on or negativity. Well, you may be pleased to know that this one is a lot more positive!

 

Recently, I was heading home from work and was fully expecting my journey to be the same old, mundane part of my day that usually passes me by. I had thoughts of getting home, changing into my PJs and having a nice cup of tea. Little did I know that I was about to get a lovely surprise.

 

I was waiting at the bus stop (as one would do when waiting for a bus) and doing a little bit of people watching to pass the time. I saw a few familiar faces; ones which I had grown accustomed to seeing at that particular time of the day but not people whom I knew personally. Suddenly, I saw a friendly face among the crowd. One I hadn’t seen in a very long time and one which made me smile. Who was it, I hear you wondering? Well, it was Charlene, @blogabtnothing1, of course!

charlenemcelhinney

Many of you may know Charlene, whether just in passing in the blogging scene or if you have interacted with her personally. Regardless of how you know her, you’ll know that she is one of the purest, kindest souls you could ever meet. Despite not seeing each other for a long time and although our previous interactions had been brief, few and far between, when she noticed me she instantly smiled, struck up a conversation and seemed genuinely interested to see how I was doing. It would have been so easy for either of us to just keep the interaction at a brief hello and goodbye. We could have sat at different seats on the bus and just kept to ourselves but that’s not what happened.

 

When we got on the bus, we both chose seats next to each other and continued the chat. It was nice to just sit and have a proper wee catch up, as all too often these sort of chats can be so superficial and forced. There was nothing forced about this little meeting and I got the feeling that we both were both incredibly comfortable; so much so that we started talking about very personal things, how things were making us feel deep down and the big plans we had for the future. Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I realise the amount we managed to cram into the brief 45 minutes that we had with each other. Despite covering a lot in our conversation, I still felt like we could have sat and chatted for hours. Charlene, if you’re reading this, we definitely need to grab a coffee some time and get a proper chat!

 

It’s safe to say that this was one of the nicest highlights from my January 2019. It may seem silly to some people but I genuinely feel like we made a strong connection. When I make a connection like that with another person, it makes my heart glad. It doesn’t happen very often so I will always cherish moments like that.

 

Thanks for reading, folks.

 

Love and Peace

 

 

I’m Back! Wee Life Update

Hello!

I have been very quiet as of late and I feel a little guilty for closing myself off; however, I recognise that it has been for my own mental health and I have to say: I am feeling much better for taking the time off from social media and my blog. Before I get into it, I would like to give a shoutout to the people who have checked in on me whilst I have been quiet. You know who you are and I want you to know that it means the world to me.

Well, I have always said that I will continue to blog as long as I am enjoying it and it is helping me so here I am. I think it’s about time that I give you all a wee life update and let you know how I have been getting on; the good and the bad.

The Downward Spiral

A few weeks ago, I started feeling the side effects of my antedepressants very badly. I was experiencing sickness and diarrhoea. It was horrible and I was off work because of it. I knew that these were possible side effects so I tried to roll with it and wait until I got better; however, it took a little longer than I had anticipated for the side effects to subside. Now, this is where things start to get really bad. The side effects had really affected me physically more than anything else and my sleeping pattern had been badly affected. I was up until all hours of the night and the morning, which obviously did not help with my routine or my mental health. Thus begun the downward spiral.

My mental health began to deteriorate and it only did so quicker and quicker, until my anxiety was so bad that I could not face going into work. I knew by this point that my mental heath was very important and if my brain was telling me that I shouldn’t be in work then I should listen to it and look after myself. I tried this and stayed off work to give my brain as much of a break as I could. Except, I had no idea how much this would eventually affect me in the long run. I was about to hit the lowest point of my struggle with depression up to this point. Days off work turned very quickly into a week and before I knew it, I was off for 3 full weeks. As I started preparing to go back to work, it hit me: I don’t get sick pay from my employer and I have rent and bills to pay at the end of the month. This realisation hit me like a tonne of bricks and I was absolutely floored with my depression. I instantly felt numb, like my brain had just shut down in order to protect me from the anguish that was realising my failure and the impossible situation with which I was now faced. This numbness was very familiar to me by this point but there was something else… something new. I suddenly no longer wanted to be here anymore. I didn’t want to live as somebody who had failed so miserably and fallen so low that I would not be able to pick myself back up. Some of you may be thinking that I was feeling suicidal and you would be forgiven for assuming this; however, I wasn’t suicidal. I wasn’t having feelings of ending my own life; I was having feelings of no longer wanting to exist anymore. It is difficult to explain but I hope that others have felt this as strongly as I have and they will be able to relate to it. If you have, get in touch and tell me about it.

On the Up ‘n’ Up!

I was in the pits for what felt like an age but it was actually only a couple of days. I knew that I had to do something positive and at least try to get myself out of this difficult situation so I did. I arranged to go over to my mum and dad’s house for dinner on the Sunday. I have been in situations before where I am hesitant to talk to my mum and dad about certain subjects but let me tell you: this one was a doozy. Not only was I in a financial crisis but I had to tell them the reason why I was. It meant having to talk about my mental health to a degree that I had never had to reach before. This was scary stuff… but I did my best to stay positive and remember that my mum and dad are there for me. They are my family and they always have and always will be. My maw ‘n’ da!

Well, after dinner, I plucked up the courage and spoke to them about everything. The side effects, the spiral into nothingness, the time off work and the financial troubles. I would be lying if I said they weren’t taken aback and a little upset with me; I had, after all, neglected to tell them that I had been suffering. With that being said, they were absolutely wonderful and more supportive than I could ever have imagined. They were my light at the end of the tunnel. My saviours and my heroes. I could see clearer than ever before that tey are my rock. This feeling of love and support filled my heart to the brim but at the same time, it lifted a huge weight off from my shoulders and allowed me to relax for the first time in weeks. This was the beginning of my gradual climb back up towards being myself again and do you know what? I haven’t stoped climbing! To this day, I am feeling better with each day that passes and I can feel my positive outlook coming back. I don’t know if this is due to the dosage of my meds being increased or if I have somehow had some sort of epiphany during all of the anguish or even during my climb back up. All I know is that I feel fantastic. Will this feeling last? No, it wont… but a big part of me now realises that and knows that it won’t be the end of the world when I drop back down a little. I know that I have support in many places and I don’t need to suffer.

What Now?

You might be wondering: what’s going on now that you’ve managed to fight your way back up, Duncan? To be quite honest, not a lot has been going on recently. I have been taking a lot of time for myself. I have been chilling out and getting a good night’s sleep for work as often as I can. I have been eating as well as possible on this tight budget and I have been seeing my friends and family whenever I can. Now that I feel like I am in a better place, I will be able to write more often. I will be able to start making more videos for my YouTube channel. I will be able to enjoy my life, as well as ensure that I am a more active member of this wonderful blogging and Mental Health Awareness community. I want to start really making a difference in the world of mental health and what better time to do it other than when I am feeling positive and productive?

I will probably be looking for other bloggers to collaborate with in the near future. Already, I am in talks with somebody about a few different projects and I have been in touch with one of my favourite bloggers about doing a collab with them very soon. We had planned to publish a post for World Mental Health Day on Wednesday 10th October but life got in the way for both of us and in the end this wasn’t possible. We will be getting together very soon, I hope. It’s going to be a very busy time for me and I couldn’t be happier about that. I will of course still be doing my #BeardedChat and keeping up with my @BeardedRT account, as well as keeping you all updated on my personal/blogging Twitter, @TalesofaBeard. There has never been a better time to follow my blog. I promise you that it will be a very exciting, thought-provoking and even funny time for all of you who are keen to keep up with my goings on.

Why don’t you join me for it all?

Love and Peace

The Bus Chronicles: Wrong Turn

I was not happy about having to be in work today in the first place (there is a whole other story that I may delve into at some point); however, what happened with my bus this morning just put me into an even worse mood and I cannot wait to get home.

The Women’s Great Scottish Run took place today (it may even still be taking place as I write this and I can see it from the office if I look out of the window). I forgot about this and assumed that I would have my usual, easy journey to work. I didn’t want to be in work but I had settled into the fact that I had to just deal with it and I was up for a chilled bus journey to the office. Needless to say, this did not happen. You know that feeling you get when you’re on a bus and the driver takes a wrong turn? The feeling of confusion and panic, as you watch your destination fade into the distance and behind buildings? The moment that you realise not will you not make it to work on time but you have no idea where you might end up? Has the bus driver lost it and just decided to do whatever the hell he wants? Yeah, those feelings all happen. Sometimes one by one and sometimes all at once, simultaneously. It was not a good feeling.

When I managed to calm my brain down and think rationally (it didn’t take long; it’s surprising how quickly the human brain can cycle through thoughts and emotions), I thought to myself “maybe he’s taking a diversion, I didn’t pay enough attention to see any diversion signs on the road“. I waited and watched the route the driver was taking, paying close attention to any signs that he might end up back on the normal route… nope. That didn’t happen. By the time I realised I wasn’t going anywhere near the office, I was in Govan, at the bus station. The driver saw me in his rear view mirror and beckoned for me to come over. I grabbed my bag and sidled up to the front, asking as I drew nearer “has there been a diversion today, mate?” The driver replied: “Aye mate, it’s the Great Scottish Run, the road along the river has been closed.” Okay. That’s fine. I felt a little better knowing that he wasn’t just having a rebellious moment and throwing caution to the wind. “You can get the next bus going back into town and get off at the squinty bridge.” Right, I had a plan to get back into town and get to work. I got off the bus and called the office, telling them exactly what had happened and that I would be late but I didn’t know exactly how late. This was fine.

I waited for the next bus, which only took a few minutes. As I got on the bus, I showed my ticket to the driver and said: “I need to get off at the squinty bridge, can you let me know when we’re at the right stop, y’know, because of the diversion?“….I got a confused look from this driver and wondered if he maybe wasn’t sure which stop I meant. I went to explain myself further, when he stopped me and made my mood even worse… “It’s alright, buddy, I’m going the normal route. The run doesn’t start ’til half 10.” This should have been a saving grace, at a time when I thought I was going to be late for work and was now going to make it by the skin of my teeth. No. It wasn’t a saving grace in my head. In my head, it was just confirmation that the previous driver had absolutely no need to take the diversion and I should have already been walking up to the front foor of the office and counting down the hours until I could go home… but no. Instead, I had been led on a wild adventure through Glasgow for no bloody reason at all. You can imagine I wasn’t happy.

Since then, I have been laughing about it with my colleagues but the rage is still there somewhere. I just want to go home and chill out with my music and eat food.