Don’t be fooled by what you see

Its been a tough week but it’s nearly over, I just wanted to say a BIG thank you to the following people you helped remind me that even if I am having a bad day, feeling low, uninspired that if I took my head out of my arse and looked around  there is always someone out there inspiring others, the best part is they don’t even realise it

Andy, the Big Issue Seller – Emj Morris, the recovery poet- Hayley, the mother who is overwhelmed – Dorothy, the Domestic Abuse Survivor/worrior

Don’t be fooled by what you see

When your heads up ya arse

And you don’t know why?

When you are feeling low 

Not sure where to go

When your stomach keeps churning 

And you heart is yearning 

Just wanna to hide, from those feelings inside

Hide from memories that haunt me, taunt me, stalk me in my sleep

The same memories that make me feel weak 

No-one can see it, only me 

Its hard to explain

Its like I’m going insane 

All I wanna do is stay indoors and hide

Hide from the feelings that churn my insides 

Its ok, I’m having a bad day

And I reason with myself “thats ok”

Life goes on and I walk through my front door

Head into work, to see what lays store

I take a risk, I go out doors 

I get on with my day 

Hoping the thoughts and feelings will eventually go away

I randomly bump into friends 

Friendly faces from the past

We smile, we chat we got some catching up to do

Little do they know how they helped pull me through

Their energy and spirit 

They have overcome so much

As I walk away I am reassured “I’m ok”

My spirits are lifted 

They will never know

How they helped restore my soul

Thank you 

We are a society of fixers we see someone who’s broke and we want to fix them, but we simply cannot fix everyone!

There has been two women in particular who I have come across over the past couple of weeks, who have laid heavily on my mind of late – can’t you can tell? I am writing about them. There is one who sits outside shops, begging for money and the other one, more recent was someone who came to us just this week seeking support. 

I have sat myself down beside both women and we have sat and talked about our shared experiences, laughed about life, reflected on how shit life is and can be. Both women are sleeping rough, both have children that are no longer in their care, both have the most amazing eyes and if they washed more, took better care of themselves, if they loved themselves a little, gained some weight have the potential to be role models to other women. 

When I walk away from both I am saddened, because what I see is two amazing women, women with the potential to change themselves, to change their lived experience, I see women who have the potential to inspire others, but what they see is something very different are broken, they are lost, their lives are like cyclones, like inwardly spiralling winds, collecting debris on their path of self-destruction, rotating around life, with no respite, but when the wind settles and they see some of the destruction from their paths, the view can hard to accept. It’s even harder knowing that both women have been offered opportunities that could help them, help themselves but yet refuse or are not in a position to take a risk. 

I heard yesterday that one of the women who had accepted help and allowed staff to put a package of care in place, a place to stay, a bus pass so she could make her appointments, sorted out her benefits and ID didn’t turn up to the accommodation that evening! I am reminded that we are trying to help people to help themselves. If they are not ready for change, then you cannot force it, that lady suffered a panic attack during her assessment, was it too much too soon perhaps? Were staff too enthusiastic, overwhelming her? 

I often wonder “do we expect too much?” The reality is life can be shit, #Shithappens but then I am reminded of all the success stories out there, where individuals have overcome some proper major shit in their lives, whose lives had at one time spiralled out of control, but who have been able to rein the shit in, clean up some of the debris and take back some control.

Part of the recovery journey is about going back to face some of the destruction and cleaning up, fixing what damage they can, they both acknowledged that they had fucked up, made some bad life choices, but until THEY are ready there isn’t much else that we as a society can do! There will always be people who are simply not ready for change, wether that is out of fear, mistrust, mistrust in agencies, in themselves, christ I have been working on trusting myself for years and still am, so how must it be for them? 

I learned many years ago that there was only me who could fix myself, I learned that I couldn’t fix dad’s addiction and am coming to terms that as a society that we cannot fix everyone.

Love Fordy x


People have lost their confidence in being able to think for themselves, after years of interruption, or being told what to think, believe and how to feel, people have lost the subtle art of thinking for themselves, i know this because i lost the art of thinking for myself years ago.

We are constantly bombarded with subtle messages via the media telling us how we should be thinking, should be wearing, what we should be doing, how to act what we need to purchase to fit in.

When you really think about it, how much of your own thinking do you actually take any notice of? 

Think of a time you had an issue, you have thought about it a lot in private, you have come to a decision in your head, you feel comfortable, you think you have come to the best decision for you. You then share your thoughts or run your thinking with another person, but they have a different viewpoint based on what “they think you should do” you start to reasons with their thinking and compromise your own and before you know it you are heading down a path you didn’t really want to go down?

If more people started thinking for themselves and stopped seeking approval from other’s and took more risk’s based on their own thinking, can you imagine no longer needing to seek the other persons approval about what you are thinking or feeling. You have the self confidence to trust your own thoughts? 

You can seek advice and be offered some potential solutions but ultimately the final decision has to be yours and one you feel comfortable making. 

Now I am not saying that you discount the other persons thinking, it may well be that they have considered something that you hadn’t taken into account and if that’s the case, then go back and #haveanotherwordwitheesen and do some more thinking.

Before you seek out the opinions of others, try to work out who in your circle really supports your own thinking oppose to those who are more likely to do your thinking for you. 

So for example in my case, I have a small select group of friends who I feel I can share my thoughts and think without fear, they may well offer advice but ultimately they will respect and support any decision I make and support whatever the outcome, positive or negative!

I then have other friend’s or should I say associates who will listen, offer advice (based on their thinking), if I ignore their advice and the outcome goes pear shaped they are the ones who would be more likely to say “I told you so” or “you should have listened to me!” don’t those people fucking annoy you?

The point is, its not about whos right or wrong, we are all going to make bad decisons in our lives and have to face the consequences, but at least they are our own, we have to be willing to take a risk and start listening to ourselves instead of allowing others to do our thinking for us. Now I am not saying that this is easy, after all, we have all been programmed over the years to allow others to do our thinking for us, so undoing it, will take time, and it will take practice.

But I truly believe that taking a step back, allowing yourself time to think and reflect, and learning to trust your own thinking is so important, after all everything we do starts with our thinking, if our thinking is good our decisions are good, if our decision are good then out actions are good, if our actions are good them our outcomes are good. 

Reet thats enough thinking and reflection I have got a job to go too

Love Fordy

Letting go of control and learning to embrace change

I remember years ago, when I first started volunteering at the day rehabilitation program, the managers parting words as I finished my first shift was “Working here will change you” I vividly remember the bus journey home, considering the potential consequences of change I mean I had already changed a lot! I was in a newish relationship If I changed again would my new partner like the new me? Did I want to change? How would I change? What would change look like? I had previously just completed my Diplomas in counselling where I had learned shit loads about the real me, I had changed a lot, my attitude to life was very different from what it had been years previously, I was much more confident, much more self-aware and to be quite honest I think I had been through enough fucking change, This was the first time in years that I actually felt happier in my skin, felt I could be me, my environment had changed I had a partner who encouraged me opposed to holding me back, my family were supportive, I was in more control over my life than I has ever felt possible, did I want to change again? I concluded that the answer was a resounding fucking NO! 

Fast forward, 20+ years and those words are still there, even when I recall them it still brings back those feelings of fear, but my attitude to change has changed also since then. Whether we like it or not, we are changing all the time, as the years go by, I realise we are constantly, adapting, learning and evolving whether we like it or not? Change is inevitable and there will always be negative and positive consequences they are intrinsically linked. 

I have learned that adapting to change is a skill and by ignoring or refusing to adapt to change in the longer term can have negative consequences for our own mental and physical health and well being. The key to adapting to change is recognising how we respond to it, particularly around change that is out of our control. Let me explain…

For years I stayed in a relationship hoping that the other person would change, be the person that I wanted them to be, when I finally realised that this person would never change and that this was out of my control, despite everything I tried to manipulate to try and change this person I had to face the reality that I would have to make the changes myself, I had to let go. However there were pros and cons to this instigating change, letting go of control when you aren’t sure about the outcome is daunting, hence why so many people resist change they stay stuck out of fear, or fear of the unknown. 

When I finally left the relationship I was forced to recognise that I had changed too, I wasn’t the person I was when I first met him, I had to come to terms with the fact that I had allowed myself to be unhappy for years, I had allowed myself to become brainwashed into thinking I couldn’t do it alone, I had allowed myself to become dependent on someone else, I had lost my identity, I didn’t know who I was anymore, I had to sit with all thoughts uncomfortable feelings and emotions and uncertainty about the future. I had just instigated the biggest change in my life at that point and it was fucking scary, so much so at times it could have been so much easier to just go back, the short term consequences were hard, externally my life changed in so many ways, I had nothing in terms of a job, furniture or money I had little control of this.

At the time I was a much more fragile version of the person than I am today, but I had taken back some control, it didn’t seem like much at the time, I couldn’t see it back then, but the longer-term consequences have been far more positive. By stepping away, from something that was making me unhappy, by making the change I had provided myself with some space, some time to think, time to reflect, time to #haveawordwimesen and ask myself for the first time in a long time “What did I want?” Or more importantly “what did I no longer want?” Just by asking myself these two questions I took back some self control. 

I realised that I was sick and tired of putting others before myself, I have learned that we will always come into contact and interact with many people we might not like, we might not like their values or their beliefs, there are then people we would love to change, but that isn’t something that we can control, but what we can control and change is how we adapt and respond, we cannot escape them, not unless we take ourselves off to the middle of nowhere and become a hermit , which ain’t very practical

Change is enviable we cannot control everything, people die, shit things happen to good people but we can control how we react and respond, we have more control of our thoughts than we ever knew, but in order to control your thoughts, you first have to learn how to understand them, the only shit bit about this compromise is that there’s only you that can do this?

Only you know what you are thinking, you will need to work it out for yourselves. Learn to not be afraid of your thought’s, learn to sit with the uncomfortable ones, one of the most liberating part’s of #havingawordwiyasen is realising that not all your thoughts are true, that we carry around with us so many untrue limiting beliefs that actually only serve to hold us back. 

I use to use drugs to control my thoughts and feelings, but now realise that the only person who can manage and control my feelings is myself. 

I used to be afraid of speaking my mind, speaking my truth in fear of upsetting the status quo, I now realise by not speaking my truth the only person I upset or hurt is myself.

I used to be afraid of showing my emotions out of fear of being misjudged or misunderstood, whereas I now recognise that by suppressing my feelings, only serves to hurt myself in the long run.

Change is difficult, change is challenging, change is inevitable, change is something you cannot control, cannot avoid change, there are no shortcuts but we can control how we adapt and respond to change and whether we like it or not, change is part of life, we have a choice we can continue to reject change or we can embrace it, learning to let go of control – “easier said than done, if you are a control freak like me sen!” but I am working on it

Love Fordy

Does practice make perfect?

It’s the end of the first of two days training, who knew that thinking could be such hard graft? Well to be fair, I don’t even know why I just said that because I knew this already? That’s essentially all what this writing, the blog, the book and #Havingawordwitheesen malarky is actually about, which is making time for me, but its not as easy as it seems.

I have been really excited and looking forward to starting this training, excited to have the opportunity to learn something new, develop some new skills, meet new people, learn something that might help me figure out which direction I want to take in life, learn something about myself, time to do me. 

Set in Edale, the venue is in a beautiful location,  the original plan was to travel back and forth from Sheffield, but after a particularly couple of stressful days last week I thought FUCK IT I’m going to indulge myself and pay for overnight accommodation, which was not cheap, I’ll tell thee!  having said that, when I got to the room this evening there was a small box of complementary chocolates that I will be indulging on later wi a cuppa and I have already scoffed the free oranges, I shall also be using all the free toiletries, I shall however be avoiding the award winning vegan breaki and will be treating me sen to the full English thank you very much! 

Sarcasm aside, it has been worth every penny just to be able to take a step back and spend some quality time with myself and with my own thoughts. The course is a foundation course called “Time to think”, I have mentioned Nancy Kline before in some of my previous post, her theories are brilliant she believes that “Everything we do begins with our thinking. If our thinking is good, our decisions are good, or actions are good, our outcomes are good.” Makes sense doesn’t it? Its not rocket science? Well it does in theory, but in practice it’s a lot friggin harder to implement. 

There’s an old saying…“practice makes perfect” But I don’t reckon that this is actually true? I mean, it all depends on what “perfection” means to you or what your definition of perfect is surely?

I have often looked back into the past and asked myself why? Why? Why? But I asked without ever really giving myself the time to answer the why’s? I just carried on with my life, I put up  and shut up, I tolerated people I didn’t like, sometimes I might find the courage to say I wasn’t happy, I would lash out, release my anger, but it always seem to fall on deaf ears and before I knew it I would be back to square one, again, just like before, after all who was I really? At the time I was a young mother, who thought I knew what was best for me, “I had made my bed, so I had to lay in it”.  And I laid in that bed for years, always putting other peoples needs before my own, until finally it took its toll, I found something that worked. Drugs had never appealed to me, I would often question those who took them, I never saw the point? but from the odd naive recreational dabble, I found something that stopped all the negative narrative, the constant chatter, self doubt, it block it out, it numbed all those heavy feelings that I had carried around with me for years, I stopped caring, I stopped giving a fuck! the drugs helped me to switch off and just focus on getting on with life, working, being a mom, being a partner, being there for everyone else and denying my own wants and needs. 

Here I am over 25 years later after finding myself being forced into having a serious fucking #wordwimesen, (being sectioned in a mental institution, kinda does that to you…) I find myself still craving and yearning to love myself – Now how fucking cheesy does that sound? But guess what I don’t care anymore? I’m not ashamed or afraid to say “I count!” Or “I don’t agree” or even better still say “NO”. 

I remember years ago in my early recovery, when I was desperately trying to find out about myself, trying to understand who I was, seeking advice from others, desperately wanting people to tell me what I should do, wanting to make a mends for all the fucked up decisions I had made with my life, wanting better for my kids, for myself, I was like a sponge, I read every self help book, did affirmations everyday (even when I felt like a prized twat, talking to myself in the mirror), I did it because someone in a book said it would help.

I’m not knocking self awareness, self awareness is great, but it wasn’t until I started really putting the self awareness into practice that I started to change, I have found that instead of questioning others, I now often start with questioning myself. I realised that the answers that I had been searching for, were there within me all the time. I learned that it was me that had programmed myself to think about others before myself, I had learned to put my feelings on the back burner. 

My recovery wasn’t just about putting down the drugs, to be honest that was the easy part, the drugs had just become an unhealthy crutch, my recovery has been much more about being brave enough to search for me, the real me, the me who had been buried beneath everyone else needs and wants. 

This has not been an easy journey, but then who’s life is? Everyone has a shit story or anecdote to share? Shithappens all the time, it’s part of the circle of life, we can either spit our dummy out and wallow in self pity or we can learnt to accept the shitty parts and learn to take the rough with the smooth. There are parts of who I became that I really didn’t like, in fact I there are still some parts about myself that I  find uncomfortable, but I am starting to realise that, that’s ok! Its ok not to be ok! Its ok to feel insecure and unsure, its ok to doubt yourself 

I no longer want to be that person seeking perfection, because I truly believe it doesn’t exist, I just want to be the best, true version of me and what ever that looks like to anyone on the outside, I don’t care? Because what I think matters more and is more important to me. 

Practice might not make us perfect, but practice does do, is allow us the time to hone in on our own techniques and figure out what works for us. This also means accepting that there are going to be some fuck ups along the way and that every now and again we are bound to make mistakes.

Anyway, it’s late and that’s quite enough reflection for one day, but before I do go I would like to say a BIG thank you to those of you who take the time out to read my ramblings, to those who make the time to hear me, who make time to listen

Happy Fucking Mothers Days

Being a parent – It’s sometimes the hardest job in the world, at other times it’s the best! Mothers days is fast approaching, it’s a chance to do something for your mother to let her know you care and say thank you. To say thank you one day a year for a job that lasts 360 days a year, 24 hours a day, a job that brings no financial rewards, only the emotional ones.

Being a parent fucking sucks some times! It fucks with my feelings, it fucks with my head, my thoughts, it is like the umbilical cord was never cut like it is still there but invisable connecting me to my two kids and it is unlike any other relationship I have ever known.

I’m with them on their highs, but I also follow them on their lows sometimes it’s hard to detach myself from their journeys, and despite all of my self-awareness and self-care, they are still always there in the back of my mind, regardless of their age, their maturity they will always be my babies, my kids. I will always feel responsible for their feelings, despite knowing deep down that they are their own journeys, they have their own feelings and emotions and I know that they are ultimately responsible for themselves and their own.

Doing something or saying something that I think is right or might help, only to find it was wrong. Sometimes being a parent is a fucking thankless task, I have to remind myself on a regular basis that none of us are ever perfect and i include us all in that statement.

As a parent I often reflect back and have my times of doubt, carrying the guilt that somehow I did something wrong or I could have been a better mother, do they doubt themselves becuase of something i said or have done? But when I see them achieve, succeed and believe in their own esteem, leaves me feeling like I’ve done a good job but then seeing them struggle leaves me feeling like I have somehow failed. There is no let-up or reprieve from that sense of responsibility, the sense of duty is always there, it never goes away like a fucking yoyo up and down always being played with.

I have to constantly remind myself that all I have to give and offer my children are my own life lessons and the wisdom I have acquired along the way hoping that they themselves will too find their own!

I can look back and now and I often wonder how my own mother ever coped having to stand back and watch me self harm from within, watch me deteriorate before her eyes, powerless to stop me in my tracks, to stop me on the journey and path I was heading down, she has witnessed all the shit relationships, all the shit decisions I have made, she has often been a constant passenger sometimes against her will.

Despite it being the hardest job in the world, I am thankful that I have a relationship with my kids, I cannot imagine how it must feel for the parents whose invisible unbilicle cord has been severed because of death or is strained because they no longer talk. 

I am thankful for all the rewards when they are good I am good, I have raised two beautiful kids, I can now stand back and observe one of my daughters who has a son of her own and who is starting her own journey of motherhood, knowing that she too will at some point go through the roller coaster of high’s and low’s that both me and my own mother have endured.

I am thankful that I still have my mother, I know she still suffers the same pain as me sometimes, the hurt, the frustrations that come with being a mother. I am blessed our bond has been deepened by the shared understanding that we both now know what each other is going through. She has annoyed me, frustrated me but throughout she has been my constant, my rock! I hope that now everything I do makes her proud and that all the pain that I inflicted not just upon myself, but also on her in the past was worth it to see the person I have become today –

Mothers day comes around every year and every year I am asked the same question “what would you like for mother’s day?” and I reply the same every year “Oh I don’t know, it’s not a big deal!” I don’t want grand gestures or my kids to pay over the top, inflated prices for a meal, the best present both my kids could give me is, me knowing that “they are happy and ok!” I’ll take that, that warm feeling of knowing you kids feel safe and content is priceless and no amount of money nor gifts can replace that feeling.

So to all the mothers out there Happy Mother’s Day, try and have a day off… Make time for you, You friggin deserve it, to all the kids who are not yet parents, “make the most of you being parentless, because being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world and today we are having a day off”

Love Fordy x

Which button are you going to press?

Be warned, there are a lot of FUCKS in this post

We all have our own internal “FUCK IT” button, its that button we press or allow others to press, where we go to a place, a place where we are able to shut ourselves down or block out our thoughts feelings and emotions and tell ourselves , delude ourselves that we really “don’t fucking care”. Whilst we are in that place, space in our heads, we give ourselves a short respite from all the shit that is getting us down, we might take drugs, get pissed, avoid problems, ignore debts, lash out at loved ones, ignore advice, retreat into ourselves, blank out the world… 

And I get it! It works, it really does work. christ my FUCK IT button at one time had nearly worn its self out! 

The crap bit about all those FUCK IT moments is that they don’t last long enough, before we know it, we come out of the FUCK IT delusional mist to find we have a trail of mess and more shit to clear up!

I see so many people who are still using their FUCK IT button as a reason, or justification for doing something that they wouldn’t normally do whilst in “FUCK IT mode” But the  only problem with those “Fuck it” moments, that place where to take yourself to hide and tell yourself that you don’t care is that deep down, the fact is that you “DO CARE” in fact, you care a lot.  Going into fuck it mode you are not blocking out all the things that have hurt you, you are blocking our your OWN feelings and emotions. And heres the thing, none of us can hide from our emotions, our emotions and feelings are who we REALLY are! 

Think about this 

If we cared so much, then why would we deny caring about ourselves?
As a society we worry too much about what other people think? and yet take no notice of what we really think? 

We do have choices in life, we can continue to press the FUCK IT button every time something doesn’t go our way, or when someone hurts us and thats your choice? But there is another option another button you can press? Call it what you like, but let’s call it “what the fucks going on here?” Button or even #Haveawordwitheesen button? What ever you call it? Press it and take a step back, make time to ask yourself , “why am I angry?” Or “Why am I feeling hurt?” But please allow yourself time to answer , this button don’t work as fast as the FUCK IT one, give yourself some time to think, before changing your mind and reaching for the FUCK IT button again.

Go call a freind, talk it through, take a step back, walk away from the problem, try looking at it from the outside, what are your options? What could you do differently instead of going for the FUCK IT button, you might not like the options or solutions available, but at least you have the insight to try a differant approach? 

We can all continue to press the FUCK IT button, that our choice, but the FUCK IT button doesn’t make your problems go away…

Just saying…

Your voice counts, it may not always be heard, but whilst ever you have a voice, it still counts and so do you!

One of the most powerful results outcomes from all this #Havingawordwimesen malarky is that I am slowly learning to feel more confident, more assertive, Yes I just said that, despite what people see on the surface, what they haven’t seen is that for years there have been times I have felt suffocated, insecure, when I have spoken out it would be out of reaction opposed to  coming from a calm rational place.  I have always had a voice, in fact I can be a gobby twat, but I am starting to learning how to fine tuned my voice, my thoughts to make every word count, not just to others, but more importantly count for me. 

I have been thinking of late, what parts of my work could I let go, pull away from? Trying to work out what part of my work I give fucks about and start letting go of the shit I give fewer fucks about. Sometimes this is hard to do,  and I am getting there, I have let go of a lot of useless shit over the past few months. For example, there was a time during my working life that social media, drove me close to insanity and back, I would get eaten up by the negative comments and opinions of people I didn’t even know, resulting in me often over reacting causing myself emotional distress. I am starting to learn, understand and accept that I am one person out of the other 31 million users of facebook alone in the UK, that there are a  minority of those who are just keyboard warriors using words to hurt and maim others. But that there are still good people using the platform for good too, I see myself as one of them, I see the Love Sheffield Forum as being another, Sheffield Recovery Community, Help us Help are platforms to promote good. 

I have always been a maverick at heart, I have never been one for conformity, I have always felt suffocated by rules, especially rules, I don’t understand, or rules made by someone who are no longer working on the front line doing the real face to face shit, dealing with people in crisis, dealing with people who have lost their way amongst all the fucking rules and broken some or many along the way, those who have lost their voice, who are no longer heard, because of the rules they have broken. 

I particularly dislike working within the confines of rules and conditions laid down, made by people who I have zero respect for people who’s pay grade is lower than their own, those who assume that their higher pay grade or status gives them the authority to excert their authority over me. I am learning to recognise that they are afraid of free thinkers, afraid of people having a voice, out of fear that it will undermine their own. 

But I also know and recognise that instead of wishing that these kind of people could jus vanish off the face of the earth and be replaced by free thinkers, this ain’t going to happen neither. They will always fall into the #shithappens realm, there will always be restricted thinkers, the self absorbed narcissist who will always put their needs before others, regardless of the consequences. 

What I am learning about myself is that by understanding me more, that I am in a better position to navigate the rules, navigate my work, navigate the narcissist, dodge the negative shit that surrounds us, the negative shit that bombards use daily! 

I want to make a difference, make things count, make people count, I want then to feel heard, listen too, In my small way throughly my work I feel that this is one way I can do this. By providing  a platform and space for those who have lost their voice, or who have been silenced by the rules. 

But I am also a pragmatist too, I am surrounded by well meaning people aspire to end homelessness, end addiction, end the endless cycle of abuse whether the victims be adults or young people and I will always champion and get behind all those causes, I am a passionate person, who cares about others, I am also a realist.

We can all run around wanting to change the world, we all want to make a difference in one way or another, but the difference that really counts is when you start with you. I am learning that you cannot save everyone, there is only so much you can do, and you cannot help others if you ain’t focusing on you too. 

Now, this may come across as being selfish or even narcissistic? If it does then I don’t fucking care, because I am learning to understand and accept that I do care, but that I also care about me too. 

What ever your plans for this weekend, make sure you are doing something for YOU

Love Fordy x

My pledge in your death, Is to continue to write

Looking back when I was a kid, you only ever really saw men in the pub, if women were there, they would always be accompanied by their bloke and kids were NEVER allowed on the premises. Some pubs even had little tuck shops, selling sweets from a hatch at the side of the bar, pacifying the kids playing outside whilst the parents drank inside. The pubs were dominated by guys drinking pints off loading their wows and drowning their sorrows, or in dads case celebrating his latest win for the darts team. Theres something called ‘Groupthink’ is a construct of social psychology which describes the actions of people who are more like to perform out of a desire to conform and a sense of loyalty to the group of which they are a members, Dad was part of this group.  Only in the UK is it acceptable and socially encouraged to drink on every occasion, if your feeling low “have a drink, drown your sorrows!” new baby  “wet it’s head” someone’s died “have a drink on the deceased’s memory” New house “lets christen it” your local teams playing, win or lose “lets get pissed to celebrate or commiserate” its Friday “you deserve a drink” got a new job, “lets go celebrate” fuck me even birthday’s, hen and stag do’s get strung out for a week nowadays, gone are the one night affairs people use this as an opportunity for a week long piss up. 

It’s no wonder that years later dads social drinking developed into dependancy, I see now how alcohol eventually stripped him of all his dignity, his identity and eventually his soul. The pride he once had, had long since gone drowned from years of looking down the bottom of a bottle, Alcohol became his crutch, his new mistress, he lived in the denial that without it he was nothing, he couldn’t socialise without it, he couldn’t live within himself without it, he couldn’t physically function without it and yet he couldn’t see that it was in fact the very same thing that was slowly killing and destroying him, not just inside but on the outside too. 

Alcohol wasn’t just destroying him, it was destroying me, his loved ones, those that once loved and admired him, pained at seeing what he had become, feeling powerless, knowing deep down that nothing you said or did would help, he had gone too far! And dad knew it too! I couldn’t see a way out, he had tried, he had tried many a time, but eventually, he gave up and had almost come to terms with his lot, his fate.  And so did we, this was dad, my dad, the guy who once turned heads when he walked in a room was long gone, replaced by a shell, hollow from the inside. As his daughters, we had to learn to accept that we couldn’t change dad, he was on his own journey and we had a choice whether or not we walked with him or walked away, we both chose to stay. 

Looking back i am sooo glad we did, i learned a lot, not just about Dad, but also me

Today marks the day
Since dad passed away, 
I still remember the day well
As clear as day
Those memories will never go away 

You made some life choices 
Some I will never agree 
You were who you were 
I could never change that

There is no denying
There were many times I felt like crying 
It was a tough journey
A heavy burden to bare
But we chose to stand by you 
And continued to care
Your death was not in vain though
There are many like you
Stripped of their dignity 
Identity, stripped of their soul
My pledge in your death
Is to continue to write
For all those unsung heroes 
Still in the fight
For all the families and friends 
Who despite their hurt and anger
Try hard not to walk away 
They are family 
And thats what families do
We stick by our own, 
binded like invisible glue 
For those still living on their wits end 
Please dont forget you 
You still count 
Try not to despair
They know you still care
Make a pledge to yourself 
Continue on your quest
Be the best version of you
Thats all you can do

Your life is not over
Make time to mourn 
But be the best version you can
And continue to learn
Appreciate what you have got
We are not here long
Live one day at a time
Continue to be strong 

Love Fordy x

Still trying to figure out who I am and what i’m​ doing?- #Shithappens

Well, I have figured out I am still **cking useless at technology, and I still need to figure out how to use this computer! The writing Saturday went out of the window, I broke my alcohol ban on the Friday evening, had a few beers a glass of wine, and boy did i know about it all day Saturday. So much so i am learning that I would much rather stay AF so i can write than suffer all day. Sunday came, I still felt shit, but I was on a roll, I stomped through the dull headache, the writing, memories flowed I had been reflecting about my teens…

I really started to play up in my teens, looking back I now realise at the time that I had put my mother, ada through hell, but at the time I couldn’t see it, but at the same time, it felt that they never see the real me! I had many friends growing up, I would go through phases where I might try and reinvent myself, I could go for a while being well behaved, but it never lasted long. I found I was good at making friends, but only friends by association, but not any real friends, not a best friend I could actually call my own, someone who I could really trust, someone who was there all the time, I would often envy people at school who had formed closed bonds, friendships that lasted, throughout primary and into secondary school, I was popular, but yet felt like the most unpopular person I knew. 

Then I get a notification in the corner of my screen -For months I had been being stalked, prompted on numerous occasions by my laptop to install and update this app (or whatever it was) I finally decided to take the plunge and do it! I figured it wouldn’t be asking me to do so, unless it was important! RIGHT? I started the download thinking it would take 5 mins but after precisely 38 minutes my screen finally booted up again, but it looked completely different and my desktop was bare, the family picture was there, but that was it, it was blank, nothing, no folders, no documents, no chapters, no journal (i mean my personal journal which comprised of over 75, 000 words, thoughts, memories emotions?) It had all gone…

So what was supposed to be a chilled day, writing, offloading turned out to be one of the worst Sunday afternoons in history? I called myself all the **cking names under the sun, I was the thickest, most stupid person I knew, I mean who does that! I knew deep in my gut, that there was a reason I had ignored the request for months, but I had ignored my gut instinct and listened to a **cking computer, I starred at the picture I had recently purchased, it sit in front of me, a picture that inspires me, I looked at all the positive affirmations that surrounded my work desk, my draft index, content for the book and could have nearly cried at the thought of starting all over again.

My insides were in turmoil, it would take months to rewrite the chapters I had lost, I didn’t honestly think I had it in me to start all over again, that work contained memories, emotions that quite frankly I didn’t want to have to revisit again, I had already made my amends, I didn’t want to have to do it all again, I cannot remember that last time I felt this gutted, lost. there would have been a time, when i would have thrown the towel in gone into “Fuck it” mode, given in, but I having achieved so much over the past few months, not just on paper but in myself, i decided that i needed to take my own advice and #Haveawordwimesen

I took a step back from the computer, stopped looking at the screen, to detach myself away from the angry and negative emotions. I took some deep breaths and every negative comment that went around my head, I replaced with a compassionate reply to myself

“I can’t do it?” – yes you can, ok it might take a while and yes you are angry, but you will do it, you can do it, who knows the second time around it might even be better?

“I don’t know how?” – Ok you might need to take some training, some lessons, but you will learn, you will get it, you know people who can help, reach out and ask?

Pat called me, from downstairs unaware of my latest crisis, I came downstairs ate my lunch in silence, reassuring myself that it would be all ok, even though it certainly didn’t feel like that. After lunch i washed the pots, I wasn’t in any rush to go back up to my room, after a while I took some deep breaths and ascended the stairs, back to me room of doom and that **cking computer.

Searching my history, i managed to retrieve some work I had been recently working on, I also, remembered I had stored some of the chapters on Trello (again a system where your work is floating about somewhere, **ck knows where) but I had only stored 4 chapters! I needed the other 6.

Then I remembered that there was something called i Cloud, its an invisible place (fuck knows where) where all your pictures, writing is stored, I was hoping and praying that I might have managed to save something on there, if not I was truly screwed. after what seemed like forever I found it, my Desktop files, where right there, I clicked to down load them, so I didn’t lose them again. I have them back and a degree of my sanity too, it’s safe to say that is three hours of my life i wont ever get back, but at least I have the days, months worth of work back where it belongs.

Now I need to get me sen someone who knows what the **ck they are doing with computers, with websites and show me how NOT to make the same mistake again, if tha know’s anyone, hit me up – God I feel better after that rant