Mental Health Blog #38

A year is a strange term because although its definition is 365.25 days or one completion of the Earth around the sun, it means something different to everybody. Some see it in its literal sense, some start their year on the start of a significant moment, Academic’s years normally last September to May-July, Taxmen’s years are April to April, Sports Fan’s Years are the duration of their League Season and The Chinese start their year either late January or Mid February.

In the next two days, for me, three years will end at once. A year since my last birthday. A year since the best summer and relationship of my life started. An Academic year since the worst period of my life.

And with each one, the starts still feel like yesterday…well maybe last week, but that doesn’t sound as good.

Incidentally both university years, I have had a shockingly bad first semester with a hearty chunk of depression and loneliness thrown in which has then been followed by a brilliant second semester full of socialising and forgetting past trouble as time flew by.

My last birthday I was still wondering what the summer had in store for me, I mostly chilled out feeling a mixture of alone and excited for seeing my friend the day after and go home for the holidays while eating a block of roll-out icing. This year will be much the same, eating icing, doing laundry, packing and being excited about going home after one final night out with my Uni Mates before the summer.

The day previous to that, at the time little did I know how much a “Hey how’s you? xx” message would change my life. I had been suffering from an awful cold, only just making it on my planned trip to Bowness on Windermere (Where I am going again this year). However when I got back in I had that message on my phone from the girl I had got with on New Years Eve, to this day I don’t remember messaging her in the months between New Year and then but my phone and Facebook prove otherwise. On that day she had been with her friend at University, packing things for the summer when talk turned to the summer and whether there was anybody who caught each others eye… that anybody was me and so she tried the opening message. If it wasn’t for that conversation I would have never had the massive highs and ultimate lows. Even with that on several times I thought I had messed it up as without thinking much of it, I took my time between replies and the conversation was boring and slow going. When I went to my friends two days later instead of talking at length about it when we brought up girls like usual it was a mere 5 second mention that she had messaged me. This year, I really cannot see any chance of that happening with anyone yet alone her. Sure there are girls I have spoken on and off with over the past few months and live near me back home and we are on good terms but I would definitely have to make the first move.

The night of September 9th into 10th something shifted massively within me as I had gone from the luxury of seeing and speaking my girlfriend everyday to having to jump straight in to the centre of a major city living far from any friends, being mentally and physically unprepared. It was a major shock. Homesickness, Depression, Anxiety, all of it hit thick and fast. Walking in to the Cycling Centre to fill in Uni registration papers I found myself sitting alone, only really ever speaking to 3 people in there. The cliques and friendship groups were already established from the first year and then there was me…I thought I was going to have to one man army this whole year but thankfully I was taken in as groups were formed for coursework. At the time I was so desperate to get away to my girlfriends with my ultimate present for her, running in the rain of the areas strongest storm for decades for 15 minutes just to reach her. Those days were possibly the last that I will ever hear from her in person. The night when I returned to Manchester I felt utterly terrible, the people who I had hung out with towards the end of the first year knocked for me inviting me out on the town, once again I made an excuse to not go but after they asked why I cracked. I broke down and cried infront of them because the depression had just got so much. I explained it to them and suddenly these demonic party animals became caring and understanding. A day later after coming out to them as depressed, I did the same with my girlfriend and my dad…definitely having mixed results. Arguably it has made my bond with my Dad stronger than ever as he was able to come out about his darker past, his softer side that I had never even thought could be possible, he wasn’t some unbeatable person, he was human… but the same couldn’t be said for my girlfriend, even though she gave me her full support and saying that it wasn’t the reason for our split, a week later after going quiet for a few days on the break up night she admitted that she wasn’t in a position to be able to look after me with things going on in her life. Following the final straw conversation a few days following that she said that a relationship was something that we couldn’t deal with at the time, and that time apart would heal the both of us back in to the people that we both fell in love with as we had both changed. Right now, there’s certainly no sign that we will ever get back together despite her being correct that it was a good healer to have time apart. But as exes go, things aren’t really that bad. Sure you have the How I Met Your Mother break ups where they stay friends mostly, hanging out every day, but in the real world most end up completely cut off from each other. We certainly aren’t, possibly due to the size of social media in our lives but we have each other on Snapchat, unblocked and free to see each other on Facebook, and she still is able to see my posts on Instagram. We aren’t friends but we aren’t enemies, we’ve found a minimum ground, and are okay with seeing each others faces, names and lives pop up on each others’ phones and laptops. If we didn’t want to see those things or simply skip over each other then surely we would have deleted each other from those platforms and kept each other off, and I don’t mean photos as despite removing a couple in February there is still lingering evidence of an “us” out there.

All of this has fuelled the fire of these Mental Health Blogs, crazy (no pun intended) to think that it has been eight months since the first of which.

With her in the woods on a children’s camp all summer it is nigh on impossible to see each other over the summer break. And with me not living alone next Uni Year, and provided I don’t have another summer romance, there will not be a repeat of the down period.

I’m not sure what I will do to fill that gap of time this summer but I have a possible 4 jobs lined up so will give it a good shot, will I descend back in to madness, stay tuned…


I normally keep a list of topics in my phone for me to write about on here as I can’t post straight away everyday and after checking now, I see a bit about special eventing, how drugs have affected my friends ex-girlfriend and why I hate drugs, how someone can be beautiful without make up amongst a couple of other things…but I realise, why do I want to post any of that? It just doesn’t feel right. It may have got me all riled up to say in the moment but not now. Now I see things differently. Now I feel things differently. Just goes to prove that although it’s fine to speak your mind ¬†take some time to check what you’re saying or else it comes out as a mess which even you don’t understand and/or believe in.

I’ve been a very reflective Crag Banna…signing out.

All Cragged Up: Part Two

Since my last relationship, I’ve dated and I’ve partied hard and there’s one thing each time that girls I actually get to see in person say after a couple of hours, “Ooooh you’re quite hot aren’t you?”…HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?!?! First of all I got to say, I disagree standing here like the annorexic love child of Hagrid and Sloth from Goonies.

Now you can either agree by saying (In a Douchebag Surfer Accent) “Yes, yes I am, I work out. Here are the water pistols (Usain Bolt Pose) but later you’ll be the one squirting”. OR you can disagree in one of three ways. You can refuse to take the compliment and scream “STOP LYING YOU’RE LYING AAAAAAAAAAAAGH”. You can straight up tell them that they are wrong or you can get emotional and on edge thinking that they’re setting you up for something, “Oh? So now I’m hot? Sorry for hiding it for so long like some transforming time bomb, I’ll try be hot from the start next time.”. But there is one thing to get an instant win if this happens to you fellas. Shift the focus on to them, something like (Deep Voice, Smokey Eyed) “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and damn you have some beautiful eyes, I may look hot but when I’m out with you we look like The Elephant Man and Harley Quinn”…Girls love being Harley Quinn.


It’s becoming more popular to name your kids after places of significance to you, mostly holidays. One of the girls I went out with was called Paris, then there’s Brooklyn, London, Cali short for California. For me, I didn’t go on many holidays as a kid so going to University was just like one massive holiday, going out drinking and partying, taking in a few sights, sleep in a bed that is your bed but not actually your bed. I can picture it now with my first born at his nursery with a Mum next to me going “Cooey, bye Florence sweetheart, I’ll see you soon” with her getting all emotional before she turns to me and says, “Aww is that your little one over there?” -Yeah that’s my potato- “He’s adorable, what’s his name?”. (Turn head slightly and with straight expression) “…Burnley”.

Interesting Fact about Burnley, it has it’s own Time Zone ladies and gentlemen. Here it’s 8 o’clock, in Cairo it’s 10 o’clock, in Perth it’s 5 o’clock and in Burnley it’s 1946…still got food rations. No hot water, no electricity and no heating…that’s the premium halls rooms.

My University wasn’t normal, in the first year we had 96 people and 240 all together. 4 Girls in my year along with 92 Guys, it was less of a Uni and more of a brotherhood that lived off Dixy Chicken and Spoons Brekkies. Was just like a male boarding school, but with the Rimjobs coming from Beer Pong… (Cover Butt) Mostly (Cough)…

You do form some tight bonds with everyone in that situation and in the first year my mates were the craziest, most insane bouncing off the wall quartet who will punch me for saying quartet ever…but they took care of you better than anyone. One Tuesday night, all clubs were shut which meant one thing, sitting in the dining room playing odds on dares. Having no idea what was going on as I got more and more drunk I just kept shouting random numbers, having to do odd things but I was so numb that I ended up eating a pot of jam and 2 sachets of Coffee Beans… 2am fine…4 am, heart beating so hard I was vibrating around the room. I was desperate to end it so the guy gave me the one thing they thought of as a cure…weed… the first and only time I ever did drugs… calming drug? Was it f**k? I could see the smell of my heartbeat as I equally cried and laughed myself to sleep…

Mental Health Blog #37

Apologies for not posting in a long while, I had planned to have written about 5 pieces in the past two weeks while on my Easter break however a mixture of things such as Por-wait what it wasn’t that? Oh well it was Anime, Socializing, Procrastination and Depression (Yay Depression, who doesn’t love a good bout of that) made it virtually impossible to create anything of postable quality. Those four things hampered me so much in fact that despite having five weeks from the start of the holiday to complete two large university assignments, not a single word was done and I am now facing a two and three week deadline to get all work done.

First of all in that list, anime. Quite simply, I love it. As promised many weeks ago I shall be writing about a series that I had seen which completely changed how I felt for a long while and that is still going to be something which I will write about, I haven’t forgotten…honest. Once my assignments are out of the way I hope to write a series on each of the different animes I have watched and the worlds around them. To date they will be: Your Lie in April, Sword Art Online, Mirai Nikki and Konosuba. The procrastination has killed me for time in the next couple of weeks with my spare time after them split in to parts of a cycle: Football Manager Season, Learn a song on Guitar, Draw one of the concepts/characters from my ideas list, Watch an entire anime (All seasons) and complete a task from my non-urgent to do list with items which have stretched back to Christmas time.

That’s another thing, the University breakdown of 4 weeks, 6 weeks then 3 weeks after Christmas has allowed time to fly by with the very real possibility that the next time I write on here I will no longer be a teenager which I am clinging on to by the skin of my teeth. And for that time I have big plans (Scurries around trying to get people together)

Anyway back to the main topic. Procrastination and Socializing have almost gone hand in hand to prevent me doing work with the idea that going out for an hour or two meant that the whole day was disrupted, even when it wasn’t. Catching up on sleep was a huge part of my lifestyle and when I was awake I found ever increasing amounts of content on the animes that I had watched, the worlds around them, manga, fandoms and novels.

Right, time to get more serious for a moment. The latter element of why I didn’t get anything done was a bout of depression. I’m not even sure what triggered it to be blatantly honest but I know the feelings and thoughts that it brought up. Normally when you are confronted with a problem, you find a solution and work through that solution’s process until Hooray no more problem. But with this the solution is undoubtedly something that would take months to do…and that is assuming that other people are willing to play their roles in it. The problem here is once again seeing the positives in my ex but I realise that it is not me being in love with her, it is being in love with the situations that a relationship provides. Within that it’s that feeling of powerlessness and possibility that I will never be in those situations again which have been dragging me back by the shirt. I’ve dated/seriously chatted to four girls since that whole break up and two of those in the past six weeks, I don’t know what desperation smells like but looking at those numbers I must damn reek of it and I hate that too. I’m sure I’ve probably written this before but for me at this stage in my life, my ultimate goal is waking up next to somebody. But not just anybody, as that has happened since the break up. Somebody who’s goal isn’t to leave as soon as possible as you wonder who the hell was that? Somebody who you can roll over and face in the morning and while both of you are weary eyed and still sleepy, smile at. When they ask you why you’re smiling so hard you simply say “Because I’ve realised I get to wake up next to the most beautiful girl (change depending on your preferences) around” and then kiss them on the forehead. Then you have the rest of the morning to cuddle and kiss it out, laying in the arms of someone who you truly care about/love knowing nothing in that moment could go wrong, nothing can hurt you both. Similarly, if they are facing away from you or you’re loosely spooning. Grab them and squeeze them tight…trust me they feel it and like it too.

So yeah if anyone could order that for my upcoming birthday…much appreciated.

Anyways, I must go various citizens and do a 3000 word research proposal… I’ve been Crag Banna…signing out.

Adventures of One #4

Nothing of major drama this week, just a solid event of high energy and good times with random strangers as rock band Ghost came to the Manchester O2 Apollo. I wish I could upload all of the videos and photos that I took at the gig as it was truly astounding compared to any rock concert I had been to before.

Had never realised how long you had to wait after doors opened for the main event to start. Joined the back of the queues at five minutes before doors opening and I still managed to easily get in to the fourth row of people. One thing of notice is that the black jean and leather jacket industries could easily be funded by the people in the room alone. One thing not really seen before, guys in lipstick, but with the persons hair and feminine appearance I genuinely thought he was a girl…only at a rock concert could the presence of lipstick not help you determine gender.

The pre show was a Rock-Synth duo from Pennsylvania called Zombi. Despite nobody in the room having heard of them and them not having any lyrics they were still a worthy warm up for a band which the crowd were getting agitated in waiting to see. Never have I witnessed a room full of over 500 people all singing a whole albums worth of heavy rock songs consecutively, the atmosphere was intense to say the least. Square Hammer, Cirice, Year Zero, Monstrance Clock and Pinnacle to the Pit all tore the roof off, with the hits broken up with outstanding guitar solos and great banter by the latest incarnation of Papa Emeritus (Who looked like a skinny version of Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance).

I cannot recommend going to see them enough, not just for the songs, but for the rock concert atmosphere, people may be dressed in spikes and leather, built like tanks, have long hair and beards looking rather intimidating but they are genuinely some of the kindest, most caring, friendly, accommodating kind of people in the world. I was able to rock out and half a laugh with a middle aged gay couple, who shook my hand as we left and departed in to the night.

I’ve been Crag Banna (Maybe slightly possessed after worshipping the devil)…signing out.

Mental Health Blog #36

The side of me which I’m like marmite with reared its head on Thursday night. Originally looking to go on a night out with a couple of friends who I’d be sharing a house with next year, not even drinking, aiming to stick to drinking Vimto at pre-drinks. However…it wasn’t just the three of us…it was eight of us at pre-drinks and six out on the town and …I didn’t go for Vimto…I had four cans of Budweiser and whatever the forfeit drinks were in the games. Everything was fine, I was fitting right in to the group of people who I had at most a couple of hours of my life with previously, I had been able to grow in to the circle and tell my own jokes.

Step in the club and suddenly that player drunk side hits. We get our first round of drinks, I spotted a girl sitting alone, no sign of any friends, I ask her if she’d like to come along with us, we dance, hand in hand…then we kiss. I go to the bathroom and come back to see her dancing with the rest of my friends, each of them came up one by one to ask me how I managed to get a girl that quickly like I had whispered some secret code to her. In the end it turns out she was no where near “Mine” (Although at the end of the night I had the chance to take her back to my place for…ahem…coffee), she had a snogging series including two of the guys in the group and a girl which came as quite a surprise for all of us. We eventually made our way around the dancefloor in our group dancing our way towards the DJ, when suddenly a girl who I had never seen before, stood in front of me, danced for a few seconds before grabbing me by the shirt and literally inhaling my face. No word of a lie, I thought it was only snakes who could open their jaws that wide, felt more like I was getting eaten than kissed. Even more surprising, as soon as the kiss was over, she disappeared with her friend and we never met again. The group and I went on to dance with two other pairs of girls, having a laugh with all of them. Before we knew it the night was over and we had to clear out of the club. The final pair that we were with spotted me outside and asked for directions to a takeaway about ten minutes walk from us but one of them was so drunk that there was no way they’d make it so I offered to walk them there as it was on my way home. When we got here the better looking of the two gave me a kiss on the lips for my troubles to make it three for the night. But I didn’t feel fulfilled in any way, I didn’t take any body home to go the distance and although I had the opportunities to, I didn’t feel as though it was a priority or a want to. And despite the trio bringing brief positivity and a better reputation with my new friends it still proved that I was right in that I become a player when I drink…I AM NOT A PLAYER!!!

As with modern times, the whole night was broadcast on my snapchat, with pictures with the guys and a picture of the girl eating my face like me with doughnuts going on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter also. Who saw these pictures? My ex… You’d have thought that it wouldn’t be a problem and I certainly didn’t see it as one (Although it will be fun to see if there is a clearly staged response when she inevitably goes out tonight), but on my Instagram post of the kiss… It had been liked by three people, but when I checked the names of the likers, only two showed. This meant that the phantom liker was someone who could see my account yet hid themselves from me…and there are only two people who have done that…the girl I saw in December…and my ex. Now as the only person who would have known about the kiss as by Snapchat, it could only be the latter. Like it to get in my head? Who knows but it hasn’t worked. How else do I think it’s her? I mean for all I know a random person who keeps looking at my profile has hidden themselves. When I searched for my friend later that day, in my presumptive results list was her housemate with the underline “@myexesaccountnamehere is following this person” as if to show that we have mutual friend/interactor. By all means I am up for refollowing each other or refriending each other but maybe liking something of mine out of either spite or to take the mick may not be the way to go.

Until the next time I get pissed, I’ve been Crag Banna waiting for my exes revenge comeback…signing out.

All Cragged Up: Part One

Recently I started playing electric guitar and started my own band, people asked me why did you get in to music? Well ladies and gentleman. A couple of girls in my past said that I was good with my fingers so I thought HEY why not play guitar…I mean that’s the next logical step right?

Only problem is now if I’m fortunate enough to go to bed with a lovely lady when I’m down there doing the business they roll over and ask what the hell I’m doing with my other hand (Act out playing guitar with face getting increasingly shocked). It’s tough to not get carried away. One second you’re there giving it your all and the next you’re eyes shut getting frustrated at yourself for playing the opening to Sweet Child of Mine wrong. She rolls over and asks if you’re okay and you just reply “Hmm is it a G or a C now?”…Instant mood killer, WHO KNEW?

But I tell you what, guys in the audience, if you are able to play a high chord on your girl…you are one lucky man.


Note: This is all part of a hypothetical stand up comedy show, not completely real life, not completely in my style of comedy delivery.

Mental Health Blog #35

Is this the start of the long awaited downfall/decline of my happiness? As I mentioned in Mental Health Blog #33, typically my life has sharp periods of ying and yang, ebb and flow, high and low, and in the past month and a half I’ve had a sustained period of positivity with what most would see as a supreme lucky streak. However the past couple of days the cracks have begun to show…and as yet that is all they are, cracks…

As I wrote about in my latest Adventures of One piece, I was meant to have gone to see Grease- The Musical with who I thought was a lovely girl called Abbie (Who I had been seeing for a couple of weeks). However, around four hours before the show started, when I messaged her to sort out timings and organise what would happen after the show…it was picked up by somebody claiming to be her boyfriend…a boyfriend who she had never mentioned previously and claimed to have only got with her in the past few days…hardly a long term thing, especially as she’s seen more than one guy at the same time. Massive kick in the teeth after both revealing some quite private information and me spending quite a bit of time and money organising the night. Nevertheless, I must march on and keep going as usual, keeping my bait in the water as I’ve deleted the old fish from all of my social networks.

Again going back a few posts, I wrote about how my “kind of ex” friend had begun a kind of concerning decline of their own. The gone weekend they uploaded a few pictures when out with friends at a music gig and generally celebrating Mother’s Day which got people talking, bringing me in to the fold yet again. None of us know if it was just a few cases of bad lighting or our friendship goggles had worn off, as they looked so different to how we had seen them just over half a year ago. Someone remarked that when posing next to their little brother and step sister they looked ill almost, with reminding features of a stereotypical druggie or junkie parent who you see on tv. Pictures at the gig next to their rather skinny/slim friends didn’t help that people thought that they had “grown” even more than first imagined. It became clear that in the social situation of hitting on a member of the opposite sex in a night club, they had gone from the person which made suitors nervous to talk to/the go to person, to the person who would have to be made sure are okay if their friend goes off with someone else. An example of this happened with me a year or so ago as in a group of five guys we bumped in to a group of three single girls. One of my mates wanted to make a move on the best looking girl in that group, however she wouldn’t get off with him unless her two (slightly less attractive)¬†friends got with two of us. And as I was one of two of the only other single guys in our group I had to bite the bullet and take one for the team. Knowing my friends…or friend that they go out with, it is harsh to say but they are most certainly not first choice, or possibly even second or third, dependant on who’s with them. I hate that these words are coming out of my mind and keyboard as I’ve somehow become such a judgemental ass, passing comment on someone elses life but it is so hard to keep this sort of confused upset bottled up in my mind as they are such a great person who is seeming losing those amazing qualities a little more every day. For some reason I feel that if the universe listens enough it will somehow change things for them, like the power of positive thinking we see so much about…believe and you can achieve.

Well I’ve been the bitchy declining Crag Banna…signing out.