It is the start of the academic year and I am officially now a student with the Open University! My module in Creative Writing starts this week and I have already been learning about clustering and free writing, completing exercises and reading up on the course. It’s so nerve wracking but also really exciting. It might be almost October but the weather is so mild, it has been described as an Indian Summer. I love this time of year and I haven’t experienced it for a few years as I have been in Thailand. There is a lovely smell in the air and the colours and crunchiness of the autumnal leaves is just wonderful. I have asked work to give me less hours so that I can fit in my studying. I had my meeting with my psychiatrist last week and though he advised me to stay on the meds, he agreed to give me a plan to come off them. So I have a nine week plan to reduce them as slowly as possible. I’m really happy about it as I will be completely med free by the end of November! Starting with taking 10mg on alternate days and 5mg on the other days. Hopefully this will give me more energy and creativity to use on my OU course and also stop the restless leg syndrome that persists! I have a busy week coming up; working at the York Uni freshers fair on Saturday, going to the anti-austerity march on Sunday in Manchester and then working at the cinema Monday and Tuesday. The rest of the week will be fitting in all my studies! I’m excited and nervous about the changes happening in my life but ready to embrace change.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote my blog. I have been busy but the main reason is that I totally forgot! Yesterday I moved into Caroline and John’s house and so far so good, they have made me feel very welcome. This is to coincide with coming off my meds which I am to discuss with my psychiatrist this week. Ellie is going to be moving house soon so it is better for me to avoid the stress of all that. Last week I went to see Straight Outta Compton which was epic and this week I saw Legend with Matt who thought it was quite boring. I, on the other hand found it quite brutal! Both films are definitely worth a watch though. I have received my course materials through for my Creative Writing module which I am really excited about and have started some taster exercises already just to prepare myself for what is to come. I’m really nervous but I have to have confidence in myself. Yesterday I went to an Inner Discovery workshop at Kyra, the women’s group. I really enjoyed it and was interested to learn that the autumn equinox, which is happening tomorrow, is a great time of year to declutter your life and make changes to the way you want to live. We had to choose our values from a page of lots of words and mine were joy, love, health and freedom. Another fun activity we did was to take a magazine and cut out any words or pictures that resonate with you and then stick them to a mood board. Physically visualising what you want in life can be very effective and in fact a lot of athletes put pictures of themselves winning medals around the house in order to help them win! I’ve asked to do less hours at work now; just twenty a week. This is so I can fit in my studying but also to coincide with me reducing my meds. I have no idea whether the psychiatrist is going to be on my side or not so wish me luck!
This week I have been in Brighton visiting Lee. He has a fabulous new flat on the seafront in Kemp town and I was very lucky to have some sunny days down there. On Friday night we watched ‘Pictures of Lily’ by Mark Banks, which is a brilliant film set with beautiful Brighton as its back drop. On Saturday we went on the pier and nearly died on the waltzers. Sunday we played pool in the Marlborough and sang karaoke in Poison Ivy. We completely murdered Tina Turner’s ‘what’s love got to do with it’ and danced to a mega mix of Rupaul’s greatest hits at three in the afternoon. Then it was home and fish fingers for tea. I feel really well for getting away for a few days and still have one more day before I’m back at work. I have been reading Matt Haig’s ‘Reasons to stay alive’ and he mentions travelling and getting away from it all to be a good way of combating depression. It is comforting to know that once you have hit rock bottom that the only way is up. After reading this book I can say that I don’t think I have ever been as depressed as he describes but I do suffer from extremely low self esteem and lack of motivation. In the past I have turned to marijuana as a coping mechanism but now I have to find another way. Today is the final day I have to apply for the open degree at The Open University. I am so nervous and suffering severe self doubt. I hope I can do it.