Episode 20 – Finding Light in the Dark

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Become a Patron - Finding Light in the DarkEpisode 20 – Finding Light in the Dark

Finding light in the dark is hard.  When suffering with depression, anxiety, bipolar or any other mental health struggle, it can frequently feel as though we’re struggling to get through the darkness while looking for the light.  Sometimes it feels like the light is some mythical entity that exists only in our imaginations.  But when we press forwards, there is the chance that we can find that light.  Here, I talk about some of my tips for finding the light in the darkness.  Why not join me?

Useful Links:

Through the Dark

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Become a Patron - Finding Light In the DarkDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Episode 19 – Inaction’s Iniquity

Inaction’s Problem

Not my circus, not my monkeys, right?  Inaction could be the best course.  But do we ever stop to think about inaction’s iniquities?  You see…there is always a consequence for inaction, one that we don’t necessarily think of…

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Episode 18 – If Not Us, Then Who?

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Become a Patron - Inaction's IniquitiesDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Episode 18 – If Not Us, Then Who?

In today’s society, we’re so good at talking about wanting changes. Regardless of what they’re for, we will talk about them a lot and get offended if it doesn’t happen.  But when it comes down to standing up for what we believe in and making that change?  We’re not so good at that, are we?  We put the needs of “me” before the needs of “us” and don’t want to do anything.  Join me as I talk about this further.

Useful Links:

Waiting on a Miracle
The Onus – We’re Here For You

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Become a Patron - If Not Us Then Who?Disclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Episode 17 – The Power of Perspective

When we’re in the middle of our situation, going through the darkness and we’re struggling to find the light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes a shift in perspective or even a completely different perspective can be useful. We might not see the progress we’re making but other people around us might. Join Alex as he looks at the power that perspective can have on our walk with mental health.

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Become a Patron - the Power of PerspectiveDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Alex and The Joker

*This post comes with a potential trigger warning as there are some elements that readers might find triggering.*

This post is the one mentioned in Episode 16 of the PBTS Podcast, taken from my old blog when I originally started writing.  To listen to the podcast, find it here.

The Joker

I tell awful jokes. Really awful ones. I’ve mentioned my humour before because it’s a coping mechanism, a way of getting through the day. It was one of two things that got me through work yesterday and quite often it’s a big part of my mask. I hide behind the jokes, the puns, the humour. That way they can’t see me breaking inside. If you look happy enough and smile enough, people just assume everything is ok, even when it isn’t. They won’t push too hard to find out what’s wrong because, to look at you, they’d say nothing is wrong. So it works well. In fact…sometimes it works too well.
Often I find that the jokes are just getting me through by putting a smile (or a grimace) on other people’s faces…it doesn’t really help me because I don’t find them funny. If anything, I’d say I’m not a funny guy because I don’t feel the funny side of things much anymore. Another thing to add to the list of how broken I am. On the surface I seem to be a joker, playing for the laughs and trying to get people to smile but deep down I’m anything but. Deep down I’m chaos.

Oddly enough, I’ve been thinking a little bit about the Joker from the Batman films over the past couple of days. I watched a clip on YouTube of some of the iconic film moments that are actually accidental, where something didn’t go according to plan and the reaction was so good and so genuine that the filmmaker kept it in the final cut. I find that the Joker has some of the best lines, lines that I can relate to…which is both good and scary at the same time. One such example would be when he asks “Wanna know how I got these scars”…although I think you all know the answer to that.

“Wanna Know How I Got These Scars…?”

I’ll be honest with you: I feel absolutely awful today. Mind is playing up in overdrive, head is almost hurting and my chest is tight and nothing seems to be going right. Not to mention the pain that I’m in both physically and mentally, which is slowly doing my head in. I’m in such a way today that I’ve locked myself in the flat, I haven’t got the motivation or desire to go anywhere. I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to do anything.
Well, earlier I was chatting with my friend PJ and I got quite irritated. Not with her but with other people. While we were messaging, I suddenly said a couple of people had made me think of the Joker. In the scene in the hospital when Harvey Dent (Two-Face) is recovering from the explosion that turned him into the villain, the Joker says this:

“You know…you know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan’. Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics because it’s all ‘part of the plan’. But when I say that one little old mayor will die…well then everyone loses their minds!”

I can relate. Supposedly I was meant to somewhere and I really didn’t feel up to it. Effectively, yet again, I’ve let people down because I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. What irritated me, though, is that none of those people noticed that I was struggling, they didn’t message me asking where I was until today. Last week I was at my parents’ and wasn’t meant to be there so when they didn’t see me it was “all part of the plan”. Suddenly, when I’m not there because I feel awful, they all want to know how I am and where I am. Seriously? It’s like a bad joke. In the majority of times, the minute people want something from you, that’s when they start acting all concerned and messaging and finding out how you are. Otherwise they forget about you and don’t bother unless you message them and even then sometimes they don’t bother. I’ve been told that someone is too busy to reply to a message once before, where that person told me their life was too busy to be messaging me. Considering at that point I had no one else to turn to, that cut.

The Joker and I

So…wanna know how I got these scars? Want to know why I’m drawing further and further in on myself? Want to know why this blog is full of depressing stories of how crushed, broken and alone I feel? Look no further. For every word you’ve read, every conversation you’ve skipped over with me because you’ve been “too busy” is stored up ready to explode and maybe one day it’ll be too late, maybe one day I won’t be around. Perhaps I turned to you because I had no one else…did that get considered? Or perhaps I didn’t message because I couldn’t bring myself to message. But I don’t think that would have even crossed your minds…

Already today my phone has been shoved to one side because I’m getting messages from people who would otherwise be ignoring me, too wrapped up in their busy lives to bother finding out who I am and it’s pushing me further and further down. It takes five minutes at most to send a message to find out how someone is, why is it only when they’re not there that you notice?

Yes, this is a bit of a rant but I feel that bad today that I’m past caring. Why should I feel bad for feeling this way when no one else takes any regard of me? Granted, there are some exceptions (you know who you are) but in the majority of people, why is it so hard? I sit here with around 300 scars that I’ve collected over the past few weeks but I’m fairly certain that not many of you would notice or ask how it’s going, even if you’ve read it on here. Why is it so hard to talk to me? I’m broken, I’m bloody, I’m a mess and I’ve almost given up trying…what does it say about you if you’re too busy to be the helping hand that I’m desperately reaching out for?
Or are you just too busy?

“When I’m not supposed to be there, no one thinks of me when I don’t turn up because it’s all ‘part of the plan’. But when I’m supposed to be there and I’m not? Then everyone suddenly loses their minds.”

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Episode 16 – The Joker and My Killing Joke

“It’s Like a Bad Joke…”

It’s a bad joke.  Isn’t it?  Time for a little bit of my journey in here! Fans of Batman will invariably know the Joker, whether it’s Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson or Mark Hamill or anyone else, they will know him.  Others will undoubtedly know the aforementioned character but how does this fit in with me?  Well, I’m a bit of a Joker and there are a lot of things about him that I’ve found I identify with over the years.  Why not take a listen and find out?

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The Joker Post: https://pushingbacktheshadows.com/2017/12/07/alex-and-the-joker/

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Become a Patron - The Joker and My Killing JokeDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Episode 15 – Relapse and How It Should be Viewed

Relapse – How It’s Viewed

Whenever we go through recovery or treatment for an illness, there is a chance that we will relapse.  We have always viewed it negatively though, hasn’t it?  For most people, they beat themselves up because they’ve relapsed.  They think they should be better than that, should be stronger than that, yet in reality it’s OK to relapse.  Join Alex as he talks about his own relapse and how relapsing should really be viewed.

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Relapse: https://pushingbacktheshadows.com/2017/07/24/relapse/

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Become a Patron - How Relapse Should be ViewedDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

A Very Mental Christmas – Day 6 Podcast

Christmas Day

Do you struggle with managing your mental health at Christmas?  Do depression and anxiety keep you from enjoying the festive period?  Join Alex and Cheryl as they bring you their top tips for making it through a very mental Christmas!

Today is the day, the big day is here! Join Alex and Cheryl as they talk about how to cope with Christmas day, what you can do to ensure you get through the day without any mental breakdowns.

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A Very Mental Christmas – Day 5 Podcast

Family Fandangos

Do you struggle with managing your mental health at Christmas?  Do depression and anxiety keep you from enjoying the festive period?  Join Alex and Cheryl as they bring you their top tips for making it through a very mental Christmas!

Spending time with family can be a wonderful thing but sometimes it can be difficult, particularly when struggling with mental health issues.  How do we make it through a Christmas family gathering?  When things get loud, we can struggle.  Join Alex and Cheryl as Alex talks about last Christmas, his breakdown and how he suggests you can get through it this year!

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A Very Mental Christmas – Day 4 Podcast

The Most Stressful Time of the Year

Do you struggle with managing your mental health at Christmas?  Do depression and anxiety keep you from enjoying the festive period?  Join Alex and Cheryl as they bring you their top tips for making it through a very mental Christmas!

Christmas comes with so many stresses that, sometimes, instead of being the most wonderful time of the year, it actually becomes the most stressful time of the year.  Join Alex and Cheryl as they talk about reducing that stress and how you can better manage your mental health through those stresses.

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Become a PatronDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.