Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Slowly, slowly

I'm back at work - part time, 4 hours for 4 days this week.

Funny given the fearsome state I'd got myself into about work and how all these things were major stress factors in my life once I'd had the break again last week and then agreed to come back part time now I'm back there seems to be little that really is that urgent. There's always important and needs to be done etc. but in the grand scheme of things in my job it's not like I'm saving people's lives or anything.

I feel very tired - I think as a consequence of the drugs I'm on at the moment. Also I'm having disturbed sleep - again on the packet as a side effect but doesn't help when you don't feel that bright to start with. Or maybe this is just my body asking me to take life at a slower pace.

So slowly back to work and slowly back to life I think.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Doctors, pills and not getting stuff done

The car crash that is my well being at the moment continues to run its course.

I basically have had a few bloody awful days. Friday I felt like shit all day - hugely stressed and feeling very inadequate. Saturday was better although I felt a bit unsteady on my feet at times. Also in the middle of preparing a curry for everyone I had a sudden real nasty tightening pain across my chest. Now I've had chest pain for a while and in good old male style just brush it off as indigestion etc. Sunday was a reasonably good day although I did veg in front of the TV for a lot of it watching motorracing. Monday not so bad apart from again one of those real painful crabs across the chest. I mentioned it to the family and consensus was that I ought to seek medical help. But then Tuesday and Wednesday weren't good mentally. The overwhelming anxiety that I've had briefly took complete control and and really did my head in. Even the simplest story on the news that had nothing to do with me would bring on a wave of hopelessness. I went off sick from work on Wed.

So I've seen the doc and yep obviously all the symptoms are anxiety disorder, panic attacks leading to possible mild heart attacks. So I've been prescribed beta blockers and given some advice - advice I already know. Deal slowly with one thing at a time, ignore all others. Relax. Laugh more. Exercise more and gently, not the bull in a china store mentality I've been known to show in the past.

Ever onwards... or not

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Stress and Fear

I've not posted anything for a week or more...

to be honest I've not been in a good space, I'm still not. Physically the vertigo has got better but I've another problem now that I've got to get looked at.

Work, stress, fear, failure, stress, fear, failure, work... that is the sort of cycle at the moment. I've blogged about work on here before and it's come back to bite me but what the hell it's where I am at the moment. I feel completely at sea at work currently, very swamped and stressed and not sure on half of what I am suppose to be doing what I am supposed to be doing and then feeling there is a ton and a half of other stuff I'm not doing that I probably ought to be doing and especially in the area of all the process improvement stuff that I'm involved with that there is little point as frankly that is trying to mimic Canute in the chair by the seaside!

It has really got me very down. Last year about this time I was depressed as well, it was then I thought because my son was off to uni for the first time. Is it that he is back there at the end of this week? I think it is more this time but interesting that it is a similar time of year which is also as my birthday approaches although honestly I'm not dwelling on that at all consciously, maybe it is a sub-conscious thing I don't know.

I do feel like I'm a hamster trapped on a wheel at the moment - funny analogy that as the Furtheron house has the sound of tiny feet again... i.e. we have two new little pet hamsters that are my daughters. But also I know I'm doing appallingly at breaking out and doing anything about it and the reason behind that is fear, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of looking an idiot etc.

The tool box where is it?

Oh yes...

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference"

The 12 steps

The Just for Today card

funny I have all these things but find it bloody hard to execute on them.

Friday, 11 September 2009


It's that day again. I was okay this morning when I got up but then I noticed the date and the time it is 08:43 as I type this. I know I'm in a different time zone but...

regular readers will know I was unfortunately in NYC on that day - sat at this very time (accepting the zone diff) in a high rise office block preparing to start a long 2 day working meeting.

I remember the shock and distress in the lady who came in to tell us about the first crash. We got CNN up on the big screen in the conference room we were in just as the second plane hit the other tower just after 9am and I remember then knowing instantly this wasn't a tragic accident but clearly some form of attack.

It was a horrible day - as were the days after when I was stuck in NYC with my colleagues separated from our loved ones and with little information to plan on and always changing information and some difficulty communicating with people back in the UK.

However my thoughts are today not with me - they are with all those who lost loved ones and friends on that day.

Sadly I fear whilst the hard lessons regarding security etc. might have been learnt that day I'm not sure we have learnt the real lesson. The lesson of tolerance, of listening to others point of views, of not assuming that what one part of the world of society thinks is the answer necessarily is.

I read with horror about some of the issues with woman's rights in Afghanistan recently and also am concerned about the election that has been recently run there - the smell of corruption is too great it seems for me to rest comfortably. Are we really backing the right solution there? I don't know I still feel that we (the west) blunder in spouting off about democracy and freedom and this and that but do we actually take any notice of the people who actually live there and what they want or need or understand? How would I feel if suddenly a whole bunch of foreign soldiers came through my town telling me they were giving me freedom when I didn't really ask for their version of it in the first place?

A lot of innocent people died 8 years ago today. Sadly a lot more have died since in our so called solution.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Setting an example

We had one of those discussion at the dinner table the other day. We were talking about school stuff with my daughter and my son was recollecting his school years - he went to the same school as I did. I was explaining something about the uniform at that school to her and my son was backing me up - it was all about how to identify kids who caused trouble between home and school. I then made a joke about when our head of year complained again about members of the public contacting the school about boys smoking outside the school in our year. He then looked at me and my mate and made a very direct comment about it.

I fixed that after then - I lived 300 yrds from the school gates so I would dash home change then go and buy/supply the "fags" to everyone else from the local shop but out of uniform. My daughter said "How old were you then?"... "13" I replied! My wife recounted how she used to watch me leaving school whilst in 6th form for a "fag" and would wave to me from the girls common room. We then talked about uniform infringements. I found there was no clause against waistcoats - so wore an old one of my Dads in grey just to annoy the staff. I was quiet a rebel - I was the only upper 6th former in my year not to be a prefect for example and was always on the school council arguing for better minibuses, uniform relaxations etc. etc.

My daughter however just said "So you were my age and smoking. I'll just go buy a packet then shall I!"

Don't do as I did, do as I tell you to do now... :-)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Getting a band together

I put an ad on Partysounds a while back... here is the story so far.

I had a few responses. First issue is I'd no thought through what I was looking for, what I wanted. So when people phoned up and talked to me that was a bit of a failing.

I then got scared of what it was I was wanting to do and these people, they'd obviously be better musicians than me, they'd look to me for more direction than I'd be able to give. So I've dillied and dallied and lost the route and plot again.

I've met one guy who sounded ideal I thought, he said he wasn't a good guitarist and not sure himself what he wanted. Good I thought he'll be my level. I met him this week and we might kick off something but I'm now not sure that I ought to be out finding people better than me at this to learn from. I should fight off that need to always be the guy who knows the answers... I don't I never really do and ought to ask for help more.

Back to work

I go back to work tomorrow after my enforced break through this illness, coupling with the holiday I've actually not been in the office for a month! I have tried to have a look through my work emails today; what a mess!!! Things move quickly at work and looks like there is much I've missed.

Honesty time... I've not been enjoying work much at all lately and I do wonder if the illness is stress related. I have been seriously thinking about leaving work, but as ever I'm pretty useless on answering the fundamental questions regarding what I want to do etc. I've been in the same type of job since I left school, i.e. IT related although I long ago moved away from the "coalface of technology" and became a manager in many guises. I probably have a load of skills I could translate somewhere else but I'm terrible at recognising that, I see myself as an IT Manager and that is about it. So I could take the plunge and leave where I am, but then I fear that if I do I'll either end up without any job at all, or in a worse position in a job I similarly dislike but either being paid a lot less or having to commute a long distance and / or live away from home. I can be very negative about things can't I?

So stand back a bit. Some people would kill for my job. A good friend failed to get the job I have now earlier in the year when we were restructured and he was very disappointed. My job isn't easy - then I suppose that is why they pay me so well. I need some focused effort to get myself back on track with it I feel, if I did leave it would be an admission on failure on my part I think. To quote a Marillion lyric I love... "Failure isn't falling down, it's staying down".

I fear failing or looking dumb so don't tackle things with vigour or enthusiasm. I need to change that, not just at work but it's a major symptom of my issue there.

Monday, 7 September 2009

I need a better camera

Hmm - some photos off my phone I finally down loaded... I need a new camera, the old one bust so I'm not taking many photos currently...

A passion fruit flower in the garden. I thought this was dead after the winter and I hacked it back now it's better than ever!

Trinty church Boston - a guide was saying how this was a Norman inspired church. Maybe but it's the wrong shape - equal sided cross not a typical cruxifix like in Europe. Also despite what she said those aren't Norman arches in the windows. However it is a very pretty building which I liked.

Gary Moore on stage at Folkestone.

Yes I know... must try harder!

This time last year...

I saw a post on another blog about "this time last year..." Made me think.

This time last year Son-of-Furtheron was off to start his first year at uni. So a year on and not only did he settle in despite some early jitters he has prospered he is even now an "award winning" student :-) This year he is off to live in a flat away from the uni - another adventure and also is thinking of a possible change of course, nothing dramatic just something with a particular focus in his subject... oh yes and one with another year at uni... I think he just is avoiding ever getting a job! :-)

Daughter-of-Furtheron is now in a well established feature in her secondary school and came home last week fired up about taking various GCSEs a year or two early. Already! Blimey where's the time go!

Mrs F this year sets out on another adventure with a new teacher in her class as the one from last year is just about to go on maternity leave. She is in the same year group though which I think she was happy about.

Me... a year ago I was depressed, I think because of S-o-F going off to uni. Two years ago about now I started a new role at my company, I had to go to USA twice in Sept at the same time my daughter started at secondary school which I wasn't happy about. This year already that role has gone and the new one come and the stress may have led to my current issues with my health, I don't know. I do know I have to change something workwise.

Another September - 2001 - my son was starting secondary school and I choose to go off a couple of days later to New York for work. A decision I regretted subsequently. Again this year there is a lot on the TV about 9/11. In the past I used to reflect with fear, it really did screw my head up at the time.

So I'm in reflective mood at the moment. But I need to turn this into forward proactive movement for me, too long I've sat in an idol retrogressive groove. Positive forward movement is needed I feel.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Feeling Better

Slowly I'm feeling better.

I had a bad attack on Sunday. I felt rough all day but persisted in going to an AA meeting with a friend which on reflection may not have been a smart move - never mind. Throughout the afternoon I struggled then in the evening a full blown attack although at the start the world didn't revolve as much more wiggled and went out of focus. Then I tried to stand up and that started the spinning game again. Still it didn't last as long.

Monday morning Mrs F and my son recommended a "low sodium diet" from their research the night before into Meniere's treatments. So no bread, no ham which had been a staple of the diet on holiday to be honest and since we returned... if in doubt I'll have a ham sandwich. I'm now having crispbreads and honey.

Well Monday I was very wobbly and the Tinnitus was horrendous. Tuesday morning the same and if I moved my head quickly to the left I was close to going straight to the deck. But then on Tuesday afternoon and evening it cleared a bit, first the noise in the ear reduced then the balance returned.

So I feel a lot better right now. Maybe the low sodium thing, maybe just time passing who knows...