Monday, 7 October 2013

its not all about the bad times (joshs big adventure)

most of these posts that i have written have been about fairly negative aspects of dealing with depression. self harm, suicide, anger etc are all things that i have experienced in the past and present. 

ive also mentioned the difficulty that i have with enjoying myself, and allowing myself to not feel guilty about enjoying things. its a bitch and is something which is very difficult to get past.

ive also mentioned a few months back about a trip i was planning which involved me travelling alone to london, spending the day there then coming home on my own.

well, i managed it. i spent so much time during the run up to the winter london film and comic con researching where i was going, how i was going to get there, what was at the event and so on. 

the main reason for me going was to prove to myself that i CAN do things that scare me;

1: travelling alone.

i'll be honest. the idea of travelling alone to new places scares the shit out of me. in the past i managed to go from peterborough to lancaster (to visit my sister and her family on my own) which was terrifying, that was about 3 years ago now (i think). going from peterborough to the olympia grand all in london required using both the above and underground rail systems. 

a huge fear of mine when travelling is that i'll get on the wrong train and only realise when i found myself in the arse end of nowhere. fortunately planning beforehand really helped and i knew exactly which stations to get on/off at, and finding the right trains was relatively easy since i managed to..

2: talk to new people.

i had to do this several times during my adventure. i had to ask a few train station worker type people which trains to get on, which was a lot easier than i thought it would be. 

i also had to speak to people who i was buying things from at the event; tickets to talks/photo opportunities, people selling books, figures, props etc and other punters who were attending the event. i found that once i'd spoken to one or two people then talking to others because fairly easy. i asked lots of people if i could take photos of them, since they were dressed up as various characters from tv shows, films, books and videogames. (some of the people i spoke to were really rather purdy ladygirlwomen, so a bonus is that i managed to talk to WOMEN i dont know as well!)

i also met some people who i had talked to on the facebook page for the event. all were really nice to me, and even nicer (if a bit weird) in person. 

i even got to meet a few celebrity guests. i spoke to natasha henstridge (from the film species and loads of other shows and films) who was lovely. i also got to meet jon bernthal (who was in one of my favorite shows; the walking dead) and got a photo with him. an added bonus was that i also met michael pena (star of films such as shooter and end of watch) and managed to ask him for an autograph too, even though he wasnt an official guest. 

it was also easier to talk to people at an event like this. all the people attending were there for the same reason as me: to meet people from tv shows etc that they like. the common ground gave me something to talk about with other people, which made actually getting into conversations a LOT easier. i even managed to ask a question during a talk with jon bernthal, which involved me speaking into a microphone. the guy carrying the mic said i should stand up, but i wasnt brave enough to do that.
jon bernthal and me
(im the tubby one on the left)

3. crowds

there were a LOT of people i managed to cope ok without freaking too much. i did have couple of moments where things got a bit much, but i managed to find a place to escape to and give myself a break from the crowds. when i felt ready i went back in to wander around and look at stuff (and spend far too much money)

anyway, long story short, i managed to do things i wasnt comfortable with: travelling alone, meeting new people and dealing with crowds. ALL ON MY OWN! it may not seem like much, but managing to do those 3 thing is HUGE for me. hopefully this will be the start of a gradual improvement with my mental state.

if you are struggling with similar things to what ive mentioned here force yourself to do something about it. MAKE SURE that there is something in it for you as well; a reward for confronting your fears. for me, the event was perfect since it meant that if i did go through with travelling alone etc then i got to buy myself stuff and meet people from tv shows and movies that i REALLY like. if you make an effort and try to do something to better yourself make sure you reward yourself for doing it, even if its just a small reward like having a bar of chocolate.

i'll be honest. when i woke up on the saturday morning i was going to the event i was shitting myself about the travel. but i managed to force myself to do it and i ended up really enjoying myself! whats even better is i didnt feel guilty about it. 

it was a day i had planned for and a day i had been looking forward to. because i had prepared myself for the event i was able to cope better and didnt feel as guilty about having a good day as i usually do.

for the first time in a VERY long time i actually felt proud of myself for doing something. 

on an added note i also found that during the months before the event i found having something to look forward to REALLY useful. if i was having a shitty day i could at least say to myself "at least you're going to the comic con soon"

having that point to work towards really helped me and i will be attending a similar event in november. more travelling on my own. more new people and a new location. 

lets hope i can handle that one even better. watch this space...

1 comment:

  1. Hey mate, well done on the 'adventure' I'm glad you had a great time and I'm impressed as hell with your achievements. :-) Someone very close to me suffers similarly and I know how hard it must have been - but you did it! Comicons/Sci-fi conventions are great - in my experience everyone is friendly and like you said - they are there for the same reason as we are; to meet our heroes and buy memorabilia!!
    I came across your blog via the Tom Hiddleston fan site - I'm going to get some signed photos for my fiancee as a surprise - a cheer-up, so to speak.
    Hope you didn't mind me commenting. Be well my friend and good luck for the future.