Addiction

Watching a documentary on Channel 5 about Philip Seymour Hoffman about the last few days of his life. There is no doubt in my mind and in the opinion of others that this was a man with exceptional talent. I remember first seeing him in a film called Patch Adams where he played along side Robin Williams as a person who was training to be a doctor.

The programme goes on to discuss the various addictions that he had and how he spent twenty years sober before have a relapse just before his death. Ultimately returning to those addictions caused him to lose life. A psychologist was explaining that someone who is struggling with these addictions won’t be very far from temptation and it will become almost a day-by-day moment-by-moment battle with these activities.

Alcohol is one of his addictions and moving from February from what people have experienced as a ‘Dry January’ where people are encouraged to give up drink for one month after the Christmas period. I have noticed particularly on twitter that some people have managed to do this and others have failed and given in after a few days into the new year.

I am into a period of abstinence and in my third week. I decided for the good of my physical and mental health that I have another alcohol hiatus. I have done it twice before for three month periods at a time. It’s helped me to focus more on life and given me the opportunity to look forward and backwards examining all parts of my journey.

I have explained to a lot of people when talking about this I have always said that it is too easy to pick up the bottle at the end of the day. Make excuses to ourselves that ‘we have earned this’ and it ‘is my time and I should be allowed to relax’. But somewhere under all of this we have forgotten the detrimental affect that alcohol has on the human body. If we abuse any substance whether it be alcohol tobacco or cocaine it will have a consequence.

I am trying to get some sort of healthy balance. Trying to be more active a lose weight. Trying to keep my mind healthy as well as I can while still treating my body as I should. But it isn’t easy. I don’t sleep well. I was awake till 5am this morning not being able to sleep and that doesn’t set you up for a brilliant day. So I will continue on my journey and keep you updated. Let’s hope 2016 is good for all of us.

Which music has helped?

In my last blog about Music I said that I had listened to music over the past few months and it has given me comfort. Even more so in the past month in 2016. I have said before I have loved music since I was about eleven but I love it when new music comes out and really get into albums. Obviously I am a tad excited about the new Pet Shop Boys album out 1st April called “Super”.

Here are some of the songs and their videos that have helped over the past few months. I have mentioned some of the artists before, some you might have heard of and others you certainly will know.

Troye Sivan – Wild – Blue Neighbourhood

A great song about new relationships. Realising that what you had at the time was pretty crap hence ‘Blue Neighbourhood’ leaving the past behind and knowing that you are going to start on something new which for him seems pretty special.

Justin Bieber – I’ll show you – Purpose

A beautiful video shot in Iceland. It’s a confession. He knows he has fucked up in a lot of things in his life. Haven’t we all? But most of our stupid moments aren’t played out on the world’s stage as his are. Some will be publicity stunts others will be genuine moments of madness. He said he isn’t perfect. I have asked before sometimes if his management have a tighter rein on him and now he is an adult he will be rebelling. Everyone should be given grace and redemption. Makes me realise you can have everything that you want and still not be happy.

Scream – Michael Jackson (ft Janet Jackson) – HIStory : Past, Present and Future Book 1.

I hadn’t really listened to this song for along time (I cannot believe it was released over 20 years ago) but events in December 2015 brought it to mind and it fitted perfectly. You only need to watch the video to realise how stressed MJ was at the time. Partly his own fault and partly tabloid garbage. This song really helped. Helped me vent my anger.

Adele – Hello – 25

There is nothing better knowing that what pain you have gone through someone else has been through the same. I love this song as it takes me away from current things and makes me think of people from 15-30 years ago. I wonder what they are doing now? Would they like to meet? Do you ever think they think fondly of the time we spent together? These questions go through my head.

Loved me Back to Life –  Celine Dion – Loved Me Back to Life

I mentioned in 2013 that I had someone who did love me back to life. I love him to bits. It’s only when you know true love that you do find happiness. Finding a person who loves you unconditionally and you love them back is hard to find. There are so many who I thought were good friends and have turned out to be nob heads.

Stranger in Moscow – Michael Jackson – HIStory : Past, Present and Future Book 1

This is a bleak song about loneliness and despair. I am sure underneath all of Michael Jackson’s talent and craziness probably was a person who just wanted to be normal. When you are in the depths of depression and loss you don’t feel like anyone cares and you are isolated from the rest of the world. It’s an awful feeling.

Bond Meets Stacey – OST A View to a Kill 

What an odd piece of music you might think. It is take from the scene in A View to a Kill and I have listened to it over and over again. Beautiful. The reason I have included it is that mum LOVED the Bond films. When her dementia finally took over I heard this music come on my iTunes and I couldn’t stop crying at the time. It over-whelmed me. To know that she wouldn’t be able to watch and appreciate these films any more. It filled me with such sadness. It also helps me now to look over the years and decades I looked after mum putting on a DVD for her which she loved and appreciated.

 

Sunshine after the rain

Parts of the USA getting blanketed with snow. People stranded and others very sadly have lost their lives. We are at the mercy of mother nature and the ever changing weather patterns across the world. If you are in the UK you would have heard the news about the localised flooding which has caused millions of pounds of damage to peoples homes and businesses.

When you are in the middle of it all and you are seriously affected by it it seems like the pain and misery caused by the weather will never go away. People who have to literally rebuild their homes can take months and even years to put back together the life that they once new. Sometimes it cannot ever be the same again. You are left still with the mental damage that this has caused. My thoughts are certainly with the people who have lost loved ones in serious weather conditions.

This weekend has been the first time in months that I have felt ‘normal’. I was used to waking each morning full of anxiety and dread of what the day will hold. It took a few hours of that anxiety to go and somehow I would calm down. That no longer happens. I can wake in the morning and feel like normal human being.

After looking after mum and grieving for her you have to put your life back together. Things that were dismantled and put on hold will need to be restarted. The storm has passed but it’s time to get on with things and sort out that which needs to go and others things that can be salvaged. The key thing is not going too fast and making a mess of things. Progress of this sort takes time and patience.

The Pusher

Is serial there a serial killer dubbed “The Pusher” murdering men in Manchester by shoving them into canals?

This is from a story published in one of the national newspapers in the UK. There was a documentary on this subject last night on Channel 4. If you are able and have catch up service I would recommend watching it. For me it meant it left more questions than answers to what has been happening in the city of Manchester over the last six years.

More than 80 bodies – almost all of them men – have been pulled from canals and rivers in Manchester over the past six years, many in the city’s Gay Village.

Grieving families, academics and authors believe a serial killer could be stalking the city’s waterways, but police insist there is no evidence to back this up.

I am not convinced at all that that every case has been thoroughly investigated. The programme itself mentioned very briefly that some of the areas where bodies have been found are known cruising grounds for gay men. The programme didn’t elaborate too much on this aspect of the issue of twenty eight deaths that where deemed “open cases” to deaths where no firm conclusion has been made whether a death was accident or suicide.

I don’t know Manchester that well only briefly visiting in the late eighties with college but I do have extension knowledge of what gay men do and don’t do. I don’t understand why they hadn’t spoken to or found someone who was part of this “scene” apart from getting the views of a token drag queen while he was putting on his make up and wig. He commented that it seemed suspicious but the surface of the problems where only lightly scratched.

Why is it a majority of men who have died in the canals? If the police believe that the deaths are alcohol related and people accidentally falling into the water why isn’t there more women dying? If it is just men what are they doing there and how have they come to meet their deaths?

The CCTV images of some of the people who had died was extremely unreliable, poor quality to the point that you couldn’t be sure who you were looking at. I am interested in these cases because being a gay man I am very particularly in making sure that if I was to go anywhere where I wouldn’t normally go and with someone maybe I had recently met people would know about it. Three people have the ability to track my whereabouts on my iPhone 24 hours a day and I don’t leave the house without it.

There is a setting on my phone that if just before it is switched off or say the battery dies for whatever reason it will record the final GPS signal on the iCloud and this could be accessed later if necessary.

In part of my degree I did a module on serial killers and was very interested in the criminology side of this. I have been fascinated and curious about those who have been caught killing others for reasons usually only known to the person.

I don’t think we have heard the end of this story and soon something will emerge from the shadows. There too many unknowns and not enough firm evidence to prove that everyone of these deaths were due to accidents. A couple have been proved to be deliberate and the perpetrators caught and jailed. I will wait and see.

Frost

It’s been a cold week. I haven’t been going out much as I have been recovering from a winter bug which saw me laid up in bed for the best part of two days doesn’t really help when you aren’t feeling the best in the first place. It was bad because I was waking up thinking I was back living at my parents and they when you realise where you are at it makes you feel like crap.

I don’t know what it is when I’ve got older I have become less tolerant of the cold. I was talking to a friend about this and they said it doesn’t bothered them. Just put more layers on. I think it’s more to do with hardwiring in my head that has a lot to do with it. Trying to protect myself and feeling safe. If I feeling I am a little out of my depth or insecure going to somewhere and it makes me uncomfortable for whatever reason it will cause distress. It is a self-preservation mechanism that kicks in.

The spring and the summer are great. Nothing better than flinging the windows and doors open allowing the warm air to go through the house. Sitting in the garden and admiring the view (when it looks nice and not like a council landfill site as it does at the moment).

Church Sanctioned For View On Gay Marriage

Church Sanction for view on Gay Marriage

This is a headline of an article written in Sky News website. When I read it’s contents even I was taken a back by the contents and the action taken by the primates meeting this week. Basically because of the way in which the Church of England (known as the Episcopal Church in USA) have conducted themselves in allowing those who are gay to work within the church and be ordained they have taken action against them by not allowing to part of any decision making or voting on issues within in the main body of the church for the next three years.

This is layman’s terms mean that the church in this country has cut off and distanced itself from the church in the USA. What good can come of this? What does the church seek to gain from taking such action rather than in engaging in dialogue with established church in USA?

Infighting, sorrow and hurt will be felt deeply by those who feel that the LGBTI are again treated as inferior. Even those who don’t consider themselves part of the group but have reached out to such people or supported those who have seen themselves called to work within the church will feel deeply saddened at such actions.