What a lovely surprise to see Sammy Buckley and Shelley Murton yesterday evening. It is always so nice to see friendly faces right now. It helps to block out the reality of life and focus on friendships.
I know all our friendships are going to change very soon. That is a scary thought for us. We have had some wonderful times with people, many of whom still remain friends.
It will be great to have the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone and our Wedding, but for those we will always hold dear to our hearts, quality time! We will miss everyone beyond measure.
For once I remained more or less composed. Talking about the issues around us at the moment, can bring out some extremely painful memories, but, I am learning to deal with each day as it comes. There will be plenty of time for tears on 22 September.
You know what Sam, I was trying to think how long I have known you, but my medication leaves me so addled and forgetful at the moment, that i will leave it up to you to remind me again.
You have always been the sweetest lad and always shown both Jason and I the utmost respect, so for that we are truly thankful. Many of us, lost much in recent times, but there are a few battlers and survivors who have at least tried to see beyond the stagnation that was setting in.
There will be much to remember Sam by. We always had great times with you, laughter and an ability to feel relaxed and comfortable in your company.
Bad words, bitching and manipulation were never an issue, when in each others company. these were words that others did to both us and you. If you have a good heart, you rarely even consider using such emotive and hurtful things.
You are one of the good guys and you always showed us kindness. Another person, who I will always remember for all the right reasons!
There has been a lot of people we haven't seen in a while and it is amazing to see the change in them and just how much they have grown, both in integrity and stature. It does make me feel old, but then i am old. I never believed I would see the day when hopeless expressions would turn into beaming smiles!
Dear Sammy. Thank you so much for remaining a friend, even through our darkest times. I miss working down the road from you and popping in for a coffee.
Even though things changed for many of us, it felt nice having a friendly face, not that far away.
I hope you achieve all you desire, and remember, you played a large part in our life and never once tried to attack us. That showed just what a decent lad you are.
We will keep in contact and always look back fondly at photographs like these. May life be good for you! x
I am so glad that we will be able to take these photo's with us to Spain. With everything else we have ever owned, slowly being sold or given away, it is important to have reminders of our time here in The UK and photo's are perfect. They will provide a lasting memory of everyone we held in high regard.
I know I moan a lot about the last few years, but they have produced some wonderful, enduring friendships as well, that I hope will stand the test of time!
Humbling and Reflective!
It is truly humbling to see so many of you, walking through our door now. As our date of departure gets ever closer and time ticks faster, both Jason and I become more and more reflective and emotional, so these visits, make our enduring pain, more easy to bear and show us, the best of human nature.
Loosing such wonderful friends, for the crimes of someone else, is hard to comprehend, but it is necessary, under the circumstances, to maintain what remains!
Just had another look at this photograph on the left. It really does show, just how we have all changed. I think Jason and myself have aged a lifetime, in such a short space of time. It is amazing what shock does to people. It does leave scars that need to be healed, far away from Southampton. You and Shelley look great. Time for you both will be a great healer!
Dear Shelley. It has only been a short while, but it has been a pleasure knowing both you and Jack. I hope you achieve your ambitions in life and succeed in all you do.
We will see you both at the Wedding. So glad you wanted to come and so glad we could accept you as friends on our day! x
Now, who the hell would put Southampton's Mental Health Clinic next door to a public house. Straight in the clinic, via the pub and leaving in exactly the same way. Not me of course, I don't even drink any more. Come to that I don't do much of anything any more, including sleep, eat and watch television. All part of my rather jumbled past. When ones life is far more dramatic than Eastenders, what would one need to watch the black box in the corner for. I use it for post it notes now, reminding me to do things, that I forget to do within seconds.
i liked Dr Cox, a consultant at College Keep. He genuinely took as much time as I needed, to get yet another Bipolarish diagnosis. This time, it was even more complicated that those I have had in the past. A rapidly changing illness, exacerbated by my current situation, creating yet another and another long winded, latin based word to learn. In future, I'll just say I have a headache!
I was skeptical of the medication prescribed, as I always have been, with each little tit bit thrown my way, when they feel I have stuck my head in an ice bucket, just that one too many times. I haven't got a great track record with meds anyway. As I know now, time has been the biggest factor, in getting the pills wrong. In the past, no one had the time to make the correct diagnosis and subsequently, correct box of life controllers. In the beginning, I was changing tablets, like rabbits have bunny's. I literally had no idea, if I was coming or going. It frequently got to mental torture stage, relatively quickly. It was almost as if the Doctors enjoyed it!
I actually quite like College Keep. It's only downfall is it looks like a hospice in parts and there are too many doors, yes, loads of doors, for mental patients to get lost through. A maze of madness, once you get through the barred doors and security guard, who you really don't want to mess with. Pepper spray and a tazer, isn't something I am partial too, especially not again! Once one, actually gets into the body of the building, it's all rather softly, softly, a smell of lavender and bleached floors. I've slipped on those before, but it passes the time quicker and adds to the excitement of the visit!
I did read once, that there is a psychology behind the way these clinics are laid out, to make the likes of me, feel at ease, slightly patronized and assumes mad people only like beige and grey colours. Calming and less confusing, for those with troubled minds. To be honest, all it makes me feel, is a sense of depression and lack of ability, to even bother saying anything mildly off the wall, that may get one incarcerated again.
I usually have a woman psychotherapist as a rule, so imagine my surprise, when Dr Cox turns out to be a bloke. Not sexy in any shape or form, but a bit matey, a bit chunky and a bit of a devil me thinks. Playing with my mind and that, making him self out to be a jolly good chap. In short Dr Cox had a great personality, communicated well and for once did not tell me what I wanted to hear, but rather what he believed to be true, after a total grilling. The good Doctor listened intently for what must have been at least an hour and a half. He looked interested, drew a picture and came up with conclusions, I had never heard before.
Lets stick with Bipolar, with out the add on's, which are less attractive and only served to make me a little bit scared and needy. When I have thoroughly researched the bloody full implications, I shall of course make it public, like the rest of my life. At least that way no one can tell any lies about me, because the truth is far worse.
Anyway, he broke the news as gently as he could to me. Actually, he didn't, he was quite brutal and just added to the confusion and muddle, already in my shell like. I politely asked him to write down the long words, that even I hadn't heard of, down on a pink post it note, so I could stick it to my head to remind me and the World, what stigma I have now. I wish I hadn't bothered to be honest. It is true what they say about Doctors writing, although, you would think they would make it a little more legible for the likes of me.
Aripiprizole, I think that's how you spell it, is a strange little drug. It has done things to me over this last week that I would not have thought possible. I got out of bed for a start, daily as well. It has made me ever so logical, something I have severely lacked up until now. It has made me a bit OCD though. I spend a good hour arranging my house plants on a sideboard in the lounge. No idea why, it just seemed right at the time. I have cooked, cleaned everything, done everyone's washing, including Jay Greaves collection of 84 under garments, rather pants. I have run around the house, even when I can't run anymore. I sit down for ten seconds and it seems like an hour. Away I go again, fluffing, plumping, beating and whisking. I have had two hours sleep in four days, don't feel tired, have to take another pill and off I go again. Mad eah.
First week on meds. A bit mad, productive, logical, OCD and I have no idea why I am doing it!
I love being a bit mental, not sure every day will work for me long term however. Jason may well have to walk out on me at that point. I would walk out on myself after all. So far Jason has been great and is shocked at my immediate progress. As it happens, so am I. I suppose when the right Doctor, finally prescribes the correct medication after a hellish six months wait, anything's possible!
Peace and Love as always!
(Wednesday), Just got back from The Edge. It's 3.06 am, and tonight was our last night at a club I have known for many years. I've been around for a generation now, as you know, so I wanted to take the opportunity to say a fond farewell, to the great, not so great, the good, the bad and the ugly. Since my illness, myself and Jason have not really left the house and have seen very few people, except a small, select group of friends who have helped us through the bad times.
This week has been great for me. My medication is working and we both took the opportunity to bury some hatchets, lay some old bones to rest and above all, to say goodbye to those who we have spent time with over the years. I don't mind telling you, I felt rather nervous walking through the doors, but that is because, I haven't seen people, in some cases, for two or more years. I need not of worried, everything was cool. No problems or anything.
Bad feeling and revenge can really eat at the soul. I have no intentions of turning the clock backwards and going back to days I would rather forget, but also, they made me who I am and I have hopefully learnt from them. Our lives may cross a few more times before we go, but it will be to express feelings, for the happier times, and there were many. The bad times are in the past and to be honest, each one of us are responsible for our own actions. It was always wrong to blame others for things, that as a human beings, with free will, we have always had control over, if not the will power to deal with them in a rational and sensible way. Logic has never been my strong point and never will be, but I know deep down I could have chose my reactions very differently, and not so irrationally!
As people, we all hurt inside to differing degrees. All of us experience pain in very different ways. I have never really dealt with emotions well. I suppose I was bought up in a rather emotionless environment. As children, learning from our families, if we are not shown empathy in the expected way, we will of course find it hard to express ourselves, equally as well. Children learn from their parents, not the other way round. I did what I knew, rightly or wrongly, that is my major failing. My only defence, is a child rarely questions the authority, of those, they believe to be wiser. As I have learnt over the years, the older generation, are not necessarily wiser, in fact the opposite is true!
I do whitter on sometimes, but my mind has so much to say, everyday of my life, that I need to get these words out. So Wednesday night, Jason and I went to The Edge, for the last time. I had no idea, everyone, I had ever fallen out with, would be there, but why the hell not. Southampton is a small scene and Wednesday's are cheap drinks. Both of us did disappear, not through choice, but because we had too. There was so much going on in our lives, that we had to begin somewhere. Cutting out people, we thought were at fault, was just a sticky plaster, for one hell of a gaping wound. It was a step we took, because at that point, we did not understand the reality behind our lives. I am beginning to believe, we should have been told a lot sooner of our predicament, then, as adults, we could have both been given the freedom to choose our own destiny, for the right, not the wrong, deluded and manipulated reasons. We were not. No point in crying over it!
I always used to think that it was gay people, who used to bitch, tell lies and generally create a drama, well now I certainly know that not to be the case. I had a lot of honest opinions from people on Wednesday, some of which you would rather not hear, others open your eyes, others remain irrelevant and a few actually sunk in. Reality bites sometimes and right now that is a good thing. Both Jason and I could both do with real, truthful expression. Thankfully we got more than enough of that!
Another night from hell. I took my pills, when I got back from yesterdays meeting. I guess it was just too late. This medication is the weirdest stuff I've ever had. When I'm on it, I'm up, bouncing around, doing this that and the other. I just don't stop. I'm also happy, which is always good. I'm not sure if this is the calm before the storm. Maybe a few weeks down the line, things are going to be entirely different, who knows. At the moment, I am still loving the new meds. I'm not so keen on the side effects and the insomnia, can be a real problem, especially when it goes on for days and days. Last night all I wanted to do was sleep and I could do nothing but.
Insomnia isn't the only side effect to note, there are many, but each one is worth it, in order for my illness to once again become regulated. Twisting and shaking body movements can be a real problem. I suppose that could in part be responsible for the insomnia. The constant movement is keeping me awake at the moment, leaving me with only about two hours sleep a night. When you consider I used to sleep around twelve hours a night, before taking these meds, that is a huge drop and I am getting tired!
I am also suffering from blurred vision, nausea and dizziness. These are the most difficult side effects to put up with. I am being sick most days, although the symptoms are getting easier to cope with. I do spend a lot of time laying on the bed blogging, then I don't have to move too far! I don't cope well with being sick, so that can also be a problem. I did speak to someone who said I may be able to get some anti sickness tablets. Just a case of asking at the moment!
The only other symptoms I am suffering so far is a faster heart beat an d strange noises in my ears.. not too sure what to make of these yet, or whether or not I should be concerned at all.
People and Past!
I wanted to write some words, about Queen Elizabeth II. Our Queen, my Queen, Britain's Queen, Many of you, who know me, understand just how much of a Royalist I am. That makes me very different from my immediate family. I formed my own views on Monarchy and The Royal Family a long time ago, when I was young, very young. Coming from a Socialist family, you can imagine, just what the dinner table conversation consisted of. However I make no apologies, for any of my views. A persons views are personal to them and formed of experience and education. I am not just this or that, because someone tells me to be!
Queen Elizabeth II, the most consistent Lady in my life, still there, when everyone else has gone. She has never put a foot wrong in any respect. She has a wealth of experience, which no one can rival. The only Head of State, respected by all, charmed Nations, leaders, Politicians and generations of her subjects, the length and breadth of our United Kingdom.
Darren Vranjes, 43 years old, gay, partnered 20 years. Living in Southampton UK. Bipolar!