2021 So Far

The first 6 weeks of this year have been rough for all of us I would say. For me personally I feel my batteries are on running on fumes trying to balance being self employed and having Thea at home as nurseries in Scotland are closed is hardly a bundle of fun, throw in you still cant visit family and friends and most places we go to relax are closed or out of our boundary , I heard rumours if you go 3 miles out of Glasgow you turn to dust, but that cant be true as half of Glasgow has been in Dubai recently (Get back in your boxes if your big enough to go you can take some stick)

So as it dawned on me that 2021 could be just like 2020 changes were needed not just for my wellbeing but my families too I think we all needed to change or adapt otherwise I think the house would of become a cross of Lord of Flies and The Hunger Games a survival of the fittest . So here are some of the changes I have made this year some more successful than others. As I was writing them down I released that some of them were insane.

  1. Communicate more to all my family this was Harriet and Thea. I work with children so communication at work is vital but also intense you work 9hrs with up to 100 children shouting at you, so at home sometimes my communication is lacking which causes chaos, you just say yes to everything and totally screw it up when you don’t bring home milk or forget to pick up your wife. For my communication to improve I had to listen to my families needs and feelings and stop playing FIFA god dam you family life. But when your in lockdown you need to talk to each other about your feelings.
  2. Honesty in the past I haven’t always been honest ” Tony how are you” “I am fine ” was the standard answer when normally I had loads of feelings but just surprised them which is like a disasters waiting to happen. I noticed if i was honest my family was honest to and made life easier. We would be honest about needing a break and started taking time outs. Even Thea started saying I am going to relax I need quiet time
  3. I stopped drinking coffee my anxiety was getting worse and being stuck inside I decided it wasn’t helping anyone. One day I did a coffee diary hells bells no wonder I was anxious the amount of caffeine I was putting in my body to fuel a small army. I of course being an all or nothing type of guy stopped all coffee. What followed is the worse withdrawal symptoms I have ever had in all my life lasted almost 2 weeks we had the sweats, grinding teeth, shakes, migraines ,blurry vision and tiredness like never before. After a few days i doctor google it and was glad to find out I wasn’t dying. I don’t think I will ever have another cup of coffee ever again. On the plus side I am saving a small fortune and my anxiety is not nearly as bad and I can make clearer more decisive decisions.
  4. Daily Gratitude 3 Things I am grateful I write them down each morning on my phone. One of my best changes. I start the deal more positive and happy. Its crazy something so small can make such a difference to your day.
  5. Daily Exercise I love to exercise but I like my routine of it go to the gym workout get a sauna and shower I’m happy as Larry. No chance of that this year so far so my exercise started to slip working out outside in Glasgow is grim especially in January. But I need exercise in my life for mental wellbeing it relaxes me. So I changed it up Yoga videos, core videos, running and walking. I am not going to lie I don’t get the same satisfaction from these workouts but they are helping keeping me centred. I guess that’s adapting to 2021 you do what you can, you have to make the most of your situation and keep going.
  6. I gave up FIFA I have always been a gamer I thought I needed it to relax but actually it was taking up time and annoying me how likes getting beat by a bunch of kids. Should of stopped years ago. This has gave me more time to relax in different ways like going for an evening walk, writing or reading which helps with my mental health making me a better person to be around which brings me onto my final change.
  7. Selfcare I think most of us could be kinder to ourselves. I use to think I took good care of myself but I never really relaxed. I felt I shouldn’t be allowed to relax I would beat myself up or think it was weak. I would say I was taking time for myself but I never switched off. I now love going for a bath listening to good podcast or going for a walk and taking some pictures of nature. You don’t need a full day for selfcare just 30 minutes here or there and after a while it becomes part of routine and you feel like a new person.

So I started this blog by thinking 2021 has been crappy but actually as I wrote this blog it came to me its enabled me to make changes to my life that benefit me. So just maybe 2021 has been good for me so far.

Lockdown 2020 : I have 99 Problems but Bog Rolls are not one

Since the 23rd March we have been put into lockdown (some will argue we are not in lockdown but that’s not the point of this post)

Our lives changed over night , during the 21 days since we have witnessed some amazing sights and some not so amazing this post will talk about them.

1) Bog Roll . In Britain we know now the answer to the old question “if your stranded on a island what one item would you take” “Bog Roll and make it a 36 pack” . Crazy absolute mayhem in supermarkets. Will we ever know what those people were thinking buying a 100 bog rolls at a time .

2) Clap for our Carers every Thursday night 8pm we open our front doors , get the pots out and bang and cheer. To show our support to all the key workers keeping us safe during this time. I love this it’s really bringing the community spirit back. The 1st night I had a shiver up my spin hearing everyone cheer. I so nice to see people appreciate people.

3) How important a walk and fresh air are . I don’t think I have ever appreciated a simple walk so much. It’s a tough one I found myself guilty for taking my daily exercise but this takes me into point 4

4) No matter what is going on in the world there are going to be twats that don’t listen . Yes you the bog roll warriors , the people having BBQ’s on beaches and having house parties.

5) Schools Out Yes every parents worst nightmare became reality. The schools closed and parents everywhere grabbed a large drink. While everyone without laughed. As a friend said to me “I am living the dream getting paid to play computer games” .

6) Boris got ill and our daily updates got less interesting . Our leader got the virus or did he?. Anyways he disappeared from our screens and I felt the replacements seemed sort of lost witch is saying something as Boris normally looks like a rabbit in the headlights

7) We will not run out of bog roll

8) Social Distancing became a thing told to avoid all contact with others unless essential being an anxious introvert I rejoiced until I found out my toddler was classed as essential . She has taking social distancing the opposite way and won’t leave our side constantly saying “Play with me “ . I look forward to the day I get to go to work and have a day off enough said on that .

9) Football Football Football. It stopped it’s still stopped. We miss it. But I do think what a shambles and a missed opportunity for clubs to work together with communities but there is still time for this to work.

10)Pubs and shops bordered up I woke up went for my early walk and thought I was in the walking dead. Proper doomsday stuff I don’t blame them I live in Glasgow if it’s not nailed down it will be gone.

So lockdown so far has been interesting and challenging for some more than others. We will all experience it differently this post is just my light hearted thoughts. I hope you can relate and it maybe raises a smile.

Having Dyslexia and not knowing you have Dyslexia

At the age of 29 years old I did a check/ test with Dyslexia Scotland to see if I had dyslexia or in my words “I’m I just thick and lazy” like many of my teachers had implied.

After the test which involved puzzles , sequences and words . The report I got basically said moderate / to severe dyslexia and I also had a processing delay , I found it hard to understand instructions and problem solve. I had felt that for years I would be asked to do a task but it was like I was being spoke to in a foreign language . I never said anything and took the jokes or the annoyance of co-workers or managers.

Why did I do nothing?.

Imagine every school report and teacher say your lazy, doesn’t study , complete homework and isn’t teaching their potential. To say my confidence was shot is an understatement , I’m actually getting quite emotional writing about it. 13 years of education the best time of your life, I don’t think so I hated it and have an anger towards the education system how could they let this happen and then the teachers yes it was the 80’s and 90’s but the way the spoke to me and treated me was a disgrace and has definitely affected my mental health as a teenager and young adult . How can you put a child constantly down and not help them?.

Right enough of feeling sorry for myself and ranting.

How my dyslexia and processing delay affect me ?.

I’m going to start with how it affects my Instagram . When writing a post it can take several attempts . Why well I sometimes miss out words and even when reading it through I won’t know it’s missing. You see my reading is horrible if I’m reading a book I need total silence or I just don’t take it in. I often read the same line or page over and over again. So my posts can take an age to put together.

Onto spelling , I could say I can’t spell but that’s not totally right. I can but it’s like my brain muddles up the words and spits them out back to front and plays tricks on me. It looks right to me and I have the right letters but in the wrong places. It is incredibly frustrating as I often can’t use words I want to as I have no idea how to spell them or I’m scared I will be pulled up for my mistakes .

When I’m writing I struggle to make it all link together , I struggle with the grammar and punctuation I just sometimes miss it out.

I think this can be related to my audrity processing delay. I struggle with instructions verbally but also understanding skills like writing. I remember trying to learn about writing skills in school I had no idea what the teachers were asking of me so I had to self teach myself and come up with defence mechanisms to survive . God forbid the teacher asked me in class or read out my work talk about an anxiety bomb.

So how do I cope for college I had a scribe I would tell them what I was trying to say and they would put it in to proper English I also got funding for a proof reader which was fantastic. I unfortunately never got this help at university . I felt they wanted us to be robots “to pass this course you must write the way we want you to” this was never going to work my content and understanding was good but it didn’t read like university papers I soon dropped out.

Day to day I will ask family and friends to check my work but I can’t do this for every post it just wouldn’t work. Also when somebody checks your work they change it . It no longer sounds like me.

Honesty I am up front now on forms I put down I will need support or extra time and in work situations I will tell people. I may take a little longer to respond . I feel this helps me relax and what else can I do ?.

I love writing and posting it’s amazing for clearing my mind and moving on. It stops me from overthinking and keeping my anxiety in check . I also have journals with lists and thoughts but sorry they are just for me .

I hope this post helps you understand the difficulties I have when writing and maybe encourages some others with dyslexia to start writing or share their experiences.