Six years of using my voice.

So six years of writing this blog. Six years of bearing my soul to the world. Over the last few weeks I’ve become more aware of my own limitations, my moods have been very erratic. Sometimes I feel I’ve made no progress and on other occasions I feel I am invincible.

At the moment I feel more vulnerable and alone, even with my wonderful friends. I sometimes wish I’d never started this journey, but I realise as I’ve let the genie out of the bottle there’s no going back.

Sometimes I feel that all this has been for nothing and no one really wants to hear what I have to say. So six years on, I’ve started to see the real Ed. 

The Ed, who is true to himself. Even when others who were there at the start of this journey, maybe it’s time to let them go and focus on the friends who are there for me now.

So onwards to a brighter future?

Courage of the survivor 

Again the courage of survivors of abuse. Is in the headlines. When professional footballer share their story in public for the first time, it’s a momentous day. In the macho world of professional football (soccer), it’s refreshing to see these players show vulnerablity and the courageous way they have done this.

They, as all survivors need is to be believed and helped on their journey. Men are still struggling on alone, this needs to brought into the light.

There is nothing weak about opening up and starting the journey. We need to have a change in mindset, we need to be open and share our experiences. 

2016: a review

So, as 2016 comes to an end. A reflection on a year of extremes. 

I’ll start with the positives, realising in January that I needed more help. I contacted the mental health service for help. I realised that I was sinking and couldn’t cope with my situation. As with everything, I had to wait for a few months. When I started the therapy, it was hard. I really had to work at it. The sessions lasted about three months. 

I had a period of four mouths of elevated mood, even during this period there were some bad lows. During this time I came out as bisexual to friends and some family, I have to say this was a milestone. I also won an award at a theatre festival, for Tinkerbell. 

As the year has progressed I’ve realised that I still need help, I have concerns about the extreme mood swings and feelings. So it’s back to therapy, only because I want to beat this. 

A post I didn’t want to write

Even though I’ve made progress in recent months, I realise that I’m slipping. I’ve seen the signs that I’m struggling. There have been more aware of my low mood and stress levels.

Maybe it’s time for another, spurt of growth. I’m realising that I still need help dealing with my past. 

I will try and keep the positive posts but there may be breaks between them.

Thinking about the future

I’ve been thinking about the future of late. About how I can effect change and help others. I realised that being open and honest about what happened and being able to share it.

The biggest thing has been, reconciling to myself that I was not to blame. Going through my thoughts about the last six years. I can see that I’ve moved on so quickly. I never thought I would be able to look to a positive future. 

Now all I can see is a positive future, a future where my journey has a positive effect on others at any stage of their journey. My life is so different now. I know that being a survivor and thriver can be difficult, it’s so rewarding. 

This blog post is post 1000,I never thought I’d get close to this amount. 

Being Ed

Over the last few months, the real Ed is beginning to show. I’m realising that by moving forward and dealing with the abuse and the resulting mental health problems, has freed me from my past. It’s been like living a nightmare. Thirty one years of pain and shame seems to be clearing. 

I’ve been so lucky to have great support from family and friends, in different ways they have brought out the real me. Whether it’s the friends I made while in community, these were the fist to show support. All those days when I could not look anyone in the eye. Then I met two people who just were there for me, when I wanted to just crawl under a stone and die. One of those held me when I was at my lowest ebb, he showed me that I can trust again. For that I’ll be eternally greatful. 

Then there are the people I work with, so accepting. So caring, in the last five years they have seen the best of me and the worst. They have been there for me and encouraged me, bullied me when needed and just been there. I could never ask for such great friends. 

Then comes the Guildonian’s what can I say. The last four and half years have been awesome, I’ve had the chance to grow in ways I never thought I could. From making my stage debut in 2012 to winning at the Brentwood one act festival. They once again have been so accepting. Leading me astray most Wednesday evenings. But the important thing is they’ve given me the chance to learn about being Ed.

Now the most important people, my family. In particular my two brothers, if I could choose my brothers. Tom and Joe would always be my choice. Loving me for who I am, accepting my decisions and being there for me. Of course dad and mum. Even though dad is thousands of miles, I feel he’s here in my heart. 

Six weeks ago I realised the real Ed is flawed but he’s trying to be the best he can. This is what it’s like being Ed. 

A timely reminder

Last night I had my first nightmare since finishing therapy. In fact I had two. It’s a timely reminder that even though I’ve made so much progress in recent weeks.

I’m aware that I am still dealing some serious issues. I knew that I would have a down but I understand that sometimes you have to reassess your progress. The nightmares are just my mind giving me an kick up the arse. 

Taking stock of where I was six years ago, I’m not the same person. I have become the person I was meant to be. This time six years ago I was in such a bad place, thought I would not see out the year.

Five years ago I was preparing to stat what I thought would be a tempeory job, I’m still there and moving forward in positive direction.

I’m so glad that I had the friends I had then and now the friends I’ve made over the last few years. 

So I’ve been reminded of the task ahead. So onward and upward.