• Mike Douglas

Live Music, Seeing Pals, New Job & Church


O man, its been a busy week!

I started a tweet and I just couldn't fit everything in so... Hi!

The last week or so has been super busy and pretty fun, and theres more to come as we roll into April.

Having started a new job at the end of February I am now beginning to settle in. I recognise most of the faces, even if I don't know all the names.

My new job is slightly different. It is still the community work I am used to. However the community is a public one, rather than exclusively students. It has been amazing to see and hear the openness and honestly people have at my new workplace regarding mental health. Expected, I guess from a mental health charity. But still, very different to what I have come from were there is no support other than discreetly happening to find a colleague that talks to you about their experience.

I even have a wellbeing action plan, which involved talking to my line manager about my mental health triggers, symptoms and what he could do to help everyday and in those moments of being triggered. Like wow!

I am also excited to be holding a few events in May and looking at having one or two projects to create / put in place in the coming weeks.

I think it was Monday that I shared my recent Body Shop experience. Since then I have had a few blog things going on. Including looking at a Pompey Bloggers event and the Mental Health Blog Awards.

This week I attended another Meridian After Dark event, which was part of the 2nd Havant Music Festival. I feel I'm in danger of being a UVG groupie because yes, this was a UVG led musical evening.

I enjoyed listening to the new songs by the group and hearing the new members that are starting to branch out, including Harvey and Ellie-May.

My favourite part of the evening was VIP guest Parv informing everyone he had been banned from the Shopping Centre as a youngster, hahaha. Amazing moment! I have to mention 'squinny', Parv's very cool song. I have already downloaded it. So you definitely have to at least listen to it.

This week I had a chill evening talking to the lovely lovely Jodie about Time to Change Champions, the ups and the ups, hehe. I have really enjoyed talking to Jodie more other that last few weeks. She is a very special person and I consider myself very lucky to call her, friend. So look out for our podcast episode here.

In a week that has involved lots of friend time, I also saw Jess. While we don't talk that much, I have a lot of time for Jess. She totally gets my depression struggles and I have loved our last 2 or 3 movie evenings. As we catch up on each others lives and laugh at the situations we each somehow find ourselves in.

Church. Yer, I actually went to church. Mum and the sister will be pleased, hahaha.

I have been dating a lovely lady (theres so many lovely ladies in my life right now, I am a lucky human). Laura is different though, she's not just a friend.

Many of you know my relationship... issues. While they are still there, I have been surprised by another opportunity at happiness, even if thats just for now. Laura has shown me compassion, faith, venerability, bravery and (worryingly for me) she cares. Im not good with people caring about me. I feel... unworthy I guess.

But right now I am trying to just live in the now, and today, and limit that over thinking, even if its just a bit. Thus, today I went to church because faith is a big part of Laura's life and I wanted her to be able to share that, plus I wanted to see Laura sing at her church.

I had also agreed to take a church photo for their website, so guess who was asked to stand and introduced themselves to the congregation. Laura's face was an image of embarrassment, which made me smile, hahaha, so all was well.

It was lovely (theres that word again, I guess its been a 'lovely' week...maybe) to hear her and particularly the poem she read too.

Church is not my thing, the constant requests for forgiveness and (usual) anti divorce and LGBT rhetoric means I almost have a stance. However, not every church is the same, and not every 'believer' is the same.

I didn't get a 'preachy' vibe from Laura's church. I found it to be full of very pleasant people sharing their faith. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not about to be a regular. But I would happily go again to share in Laura's passion and faith.

I have rounded my week off seeing a couple of school friends and having a nice catch up with them too. So its been a pretty social week.

Mental health wise I have had my triggers, particularly around the dating / relationship things. But in general I have actually been fairly good. It feels a bit strange, but Im making the most of it.

I hope you are all well and have a good week planned. I am looking forward to sharing my chat with Jodie in a new podcast episode on Monday (today) evening and recording an new episode with my wrestling buddy Amer.

Till next time, stay safe, your not alone.

#MentalHealth #Faith #Depression #Friends #Friendship #Podcast #Work #LiveMusic #UVG

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