2018: Week 5

04th February 2018
My mood certainly lifted towards the end of last week, but I can say that I am not out the grips of the black dog as yet. I had a bit of a crash on Friday afternoon, the only thing I can pinpoint to causing it was stupid and irresponsible drivers out on the roads.

But generally it has been a pretty good week, and photographically speaking it has been one of the best in a long time! I got a few really nice shots in, finished the key-wording from my last stock upload to Alamy and finally got around to replacing my failed tripod head (this time trying the funky Three Legged Things offering - if I get on with this I may replace my lightweight travel tripod with one of theirs since the Benro is getting very shonky indeed).

One thing that has occurred to me this week, and I think it is all part and parcel of depression, is that I don't say "yes" as often as I should. Rarely infact. There is always a reason or an excuse that I can make to not do something... to not take a chance and see what happens. It could be leaving the family for a day/night/weekend and deciding that they need me more than I need some down time, or worrying about work... or my fitness... or some other future thing. I don't know where it started (my self confidence has never been the best, but I would force myself to do things and take the odd risk), or why it has become considerably worse over the years.

I have a bit of a theory that a past bad relationship may have started to erode what confidence I did manage to find, then since I lost my son I have felt guilty about enjoying myself too much - I think I punish myself more over that incident than I have ever let on to anyone, or even myself. That guilt of not being there probably colours my judgement about leaving my family - the fear of something happening and me not being there. I also live with a feeling of guilt that I never said so much to my Mum - when I last saw her I wasn't expecting it to be the last time, although really I should have known but we are sometimes blind to what we see infront of us. I was so upset that she was so ill that I didn't stay as long as I would had I known, and didn't have some time just to sit and tell her all the things that I felt - my hopes and dreams, my memories... all sorts of things that were never said and now never can be (although I do still go to the woods where her ashes were scattered to talk to her).

Having identified all this though I now need to do something about it. I think working on this area of my life would probably go a long way to battling the depression, which I think is rooted in lack of self confidence and esteem and not giving myself permission to go out and do things that will make me happy. I am trying, I have booked onto a drive out day with an old (very old) friend and a load of folks I have never met before. I have made tentative plans to go on a "bike packing" trip later on in the year too. I need to do more, say "yes" more and rediscover myself.

And then you get news that brings everything into perspective as a very good friend posts from a bed in the stroke ward. Life may not always be perfect, things are often difficult... but so long as we are up and breathing things can change, turn around and get better.

Get well soon mate!

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