Monday, 28 September 2015

Reboot into October 2015



 Did you miss me?

I felt I needed to take a short hiatus to practise some self-care, mindfulness but also to try and accept the situations I am in rather than get worked up about it. Perhaps now is the best time to re-cap my story.  

I’m Matt. I’m 25 and I live in my own flat near Heathrow in England. I have a full time job and a cat. Compared to most of the Earth’s population, I should feel lucky. At the end of last year (2014) I approached my GP after a severe bout of depression. For me, my depression has always come in waves. Imagine low and hide tide, most of the time the water, my mood, is in the middle. This has been a good description of my emotions since my middle teens – some bouts far more noticeable than others. My GP referred me and dosed me up and after many different referrals and consultations, by phone and in person, I was given two slight different diagnoses; bipolar disorder or a unspecified personality disorder. The first diagnoses came from a company occupational health Doctor I saw after an incident at work, combined with stress and anxiety, lead to ansever black patch and a suicide attempt earlier this year. The later diagnoses from the NHS who sent me to group therapy where I learnt some very useful tools such as mindfulness and some tools I’m less enthusiastic about, such as acceptance.

As you read through past posts, you can probably spot the waves as the tides of my mood move higher and lower, in and out. I’m rather pleased to say that the tide isn’t high, nor is it low, at the moment so I feel in control and almost confident.

I’ve used this blog for different things. Sometimes as a diary, to explore and understand how I feel and who I am. Other times this blog has moved into comedy, politics and trying to breakdown the stigma that surrounds mental health. Recently, I have come across issues whereI cannot be completely honest as I normally would be for fear of upsetting or embarrassing those around me or just creating problems. A new example of this is my work. I would love to go into details but I can’t. I can’t complain either, I have bills to pay and I can’t afford to be disposed of. In fact, all I can say is a quote:

But every mornin'
I wake up and worry
What's gonna happen today
You see it your way
And I see it mine
But we both see it slippin' away


As hard as it is, I’m trying to focus on what I can do and what I can change compared to what I have no hope with. As you may have seen from my blog post on www.ihdc.co.uk I am now the Chairman of the Iver Heath Drama Club. We are a small not-for-profit  self-funding community group with 40+ members aged 6 through to 85+ and hopefully late 2016 we will become a CIO charity. It’s a huge honour to be elected or promoted to this role and the club is something I am deeply proud of. As a child, getting to be someone else on stage, just for a little while, gave me an escape from being the sole carer for my alcoholic Mother. Every year we perform at least two shows and we are now working towards our January pantomime – DICK WHITTINGTON – in which I have once again been type cast as the Dame. I love the club, even if it is a cause of much drama. Have a look below and see some of the fantastic dance routines which are ‘en route’!! If you could help us fundraise, either through Kickstarter or the cashback site easyfundraising that would be brilliant. It gives a lot of local youngsters and adults and positive community outlet as well some hilarious show.

I also have some fantastic friends who put up with my humour whether it is silly, witty, sarcastic-y or rude. Having people keep an eye out on you is fantastic. 
LOL at Claire's face!! #RockyHorror
It is like having a mini-family. Only a few weeks ago a member of this friend-family passed away but I think everyone saw this as a lesson to be learned. Helen was cheeky, rude and fun mother to my best friend. She refused to fit the stereotype that society demanded of a woman her age and that made her approachable, intelligent and hilarious. She accepted what she could do and what she couldn’t but even in illness, never let that confine her. If anything, that should be our goal. I can’t fix certain things, and that’s OK, but I can do so much and I should enjoy, revel and rebel in doing so.

To finish: we should all be a little bit more Helen each day.
And as such, here is a video of people being hit in the face by whipped cream.  

Thanks for reading, sharing and supporting my blog and breaking the stigma of mental health.

Find out more at www.ihdc.co.uk and click on news xx #amdram #AGM #iverheath #iver #blog #theatre

A photo posted by Matthew E Streuli (@matthewstreuli) on

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