Yes, I Have an Opinon

“having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good reasons to do so.” – Google Search

I’m sick of being told how stubborn I am when someone doesn’t agree with me. Oh, so you think x thing and I don’t? Well, I know how stubborn you are! Smiley face. Laugh out loud. Oh you, being stubborn again!

Maybe I’m just having an opinion of my own and not just switching over to your side of the fence every time you think I’m wrong. It’s not like I have my views for no reason. I absorb information and infer based on said information, just like you.

If I take in new information to challenge my opinion, then perhaps that opinion will change, but that doesn’t mean argue your point long after I’ve already agreed to disagree. If I’m so stubborn, then why are you trying so hard to change how I think and feel?

Sometimes I think about things in my own time, perhaps arriving at a different destination; why can’t people just let me do that, instead of pushing for an argument? There are many times I’ll go away and come to the conclusion I was wrong.

In-fact, I’m actually considering right now that I’m wrong about something, because you know what? It does actually happen! I’m fully aware that I don’t know everything.

I swear, if you’re decent about it, I will yield and put in the effort to be reasonable and open-minded, because more often than not, it honestly matters to me how other people feel about things, but if you’re aggressive and rude about it, then it’ll just get my back up.

“Stubborn people are driven by a resistance to being forced into doing or experiencing anything against their will.” – Mikey D at Feel Happiness

I shan’t lie, that fits me to a T. I have a problem with authority and I have a real issue with being forced to do anything against my will. For example, I dislike Valentine’s Day because I feel certain things are expected of me, when I would rather do them on my own terms. In my eyes, love and acts of love shouldn’t be an obligation.

I often don’t even want to argue about it, but sometimes people just have to really drill that damn point in, as though I somehow didn’t get the gist already. If I think one thing, and you think another, that’s because we have a difference of opinion.

When I start using phrases like, “I feel”, “I think”, and “in my opinion,” then that’s because I’m trying to tactfully let people know it’s only my view, so there’s no need to spend ages telling me why I’m wrong and you’re right.

Sometimes I try to just move on, by changing the subject, or even simply stating that we see things differently, at which point I’m often met with a snide remark, or awkward silence.

So, yes, I know I’m actually a stubborn person, but I feel like people throw that at me whenever they disagree with me, as if that somehow discounts everything I’ve said because, hey, I’m stubborn!

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How I Feel about Police Officers

I got to thinking about police officers and how they may behave with civilians. In some places, POs have a bad reputation for abusing their power and bullying the innocent. Is it all bad?

If someone is unnecessarily impolite and aggressive to me, as I often see POs being in the media, then I would want to return in kind, special clothes or not. I really, really don’t like feeling threatened, pushed, or cornered at all. Who does?

That said, I tend to be tactful most of the time and would simply state why I don’t like whatever they’re doing, and that I won’t tolerate it, or words along those lines. If a PO doesn’t have the sense to realise that’s a fair, honest warning, then tough titties, I suppose. Afterall, I’m sure they want their job to go smoother.

Admittedly, I’ve always had a problem with authority—perhaps I got pushed around too much as a kid—but I also have a problem with people not respecting the outfit but instead using it to bully people around.

I tend to be logical about things. If I screw up, it’s OK, and I understand why they would be a certain way (to a point) however, if I’ve done nothing at all wrong, then that changes things. If I’ve done nothing wrong, I reserve the right to stand my ground, as I fully believe we all should. Then again, I guess it’s not all black and white.

With that in mind, the dealings I’ve had with the UK police over the years (mostly helping others) have been pretty good. Some have been friendly and tactful, so I respect their approach. As a result, I was very cooperative and respectful.

I don’t tend to even put myself in situations in which I would need to be treated aggressively, so that’s a plus. I’m usually a very careful and honest person.

I think the media tends to portray POs as nasty, vindictive bullies on a power-trip, but in actuality, there are some really good coppers out there.

I used to want to be an officer, but maybe I have the wrong mindset.

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Independent Living #4

One of the things about living alone, and independently, is that you may quickly find cooking to be a worthwhile activity. Not only is it healthier, but it can be fun!

I’ve been really getting into frying, or as some people call it, sautéing. I invested in a decent, stainless steel, non-stick frying pan and have to say, it rocks! Before today, I was experimenting with frying using a regular pan, which was pretty dire, but needs must.

I’m very pleased with how my cooking has turned out. The meal I made today was delicious, and as always, very spicy. I’m gradually getting a feel as to how much stuff to put into the mix. I’m developing a sense of when I’ve under-, or overcooked something.

Today, using a dribble of extra virgin olive oil, I fried up plum tomatoes, olives, chilli-flavored gherkins, jalopeno peppers, sweetcorn, and spinach. I added some salt, hot curry powder, and a lil bit of Worcestershire sauce for some extra spice and flavor.

I liked the gherkins but found them to be too crunchy alongside everything else, so I’ll leave them out next time, or try frying them for longer in-case I didn’t give them enough love and care.

Cooking nice meals is something I’ve always wanted to get into, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t, or didn’t. Now that I have the money, my own flat, and time, I figure I might as well learn!

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Coping with Somebody Suicidal

NOTE: This was aimed primarily at those who know people online who’re suicidal. I completely forgot to mention that beforehand, sorry. Although I do feel this could apply either way.

I’ve been in some tricky situations in the past involving suicidal people I knew, both online and offline, so maybe I can weigh in here. I’ve been suicidal myself, years ago, if that’s any consolation.

Putting ourselves through hell because of what someone else does or doesn’t want to do to themselves, for whatever reason, is potentially very damaging to our well-being. You have to look out for #1 as well. We cannot be constantly holding ourselves responsible for other people’s actions; I learned this the hard way.

That doesn’t mean ignore them and give zero fucks, it means do your bit, then either move on or be extra careful, for your own sake. Watching someone destroy themselves, even from afar, can be incredibly difficult and highly damaging for the viewer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve helped people, but they’re also not part of my life anymore.

I’ve been the destroyer and person greatly affected by the destroyer; neither one is particularly grand, but it definitely gave me a solid perspective.

If you know someone who is battling suicidal thoughts and you think they are at risk, giving someone support numbers, nudging him or her towards potential supportive groups or places online, and encouraging that person to tell others (local people) could really help.

If you feel someone is in immediate danger to themselves, and you’re in a position to help them, perhaps calling an appropriate emergency line would do the trick. I’ve had to do this myself in the past, and it wasn’t easy, but the person was able to get help as a result.

Knowing the support is out there and having the ability to reach out is important.

Just remember, it’s very easy to get trapped within something incredibly painful. You could potentially even make someone worse by not being able to cope with their problems and reacting in a particularly destructive way.

Finally, if someone were to unfortunately commit to such a thing, the damage that would leave behind, could leave life-long scars from which you would never fully remove.

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, I wish you all the needed strength to fight.

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Independent Living #3

I feel proud of myself. Why? Well, I had enough balls to ring the council in order to pay for and arrange a pickup of “bulky waste”. I can’t say I’m too happy with the £25 cost for just a sofa, plus a single bed and its mattress, but hey, I live alone so I kinda have to deal with it.

The council will make the pick-up this Friday. I do have to drag it all to the front of the block of flats by 6am that day, which will be a pain to do on my own, but I should be able. I tell you what, all that weight-lifting is certainly paying off!

I feel like things are coming together again. Today, I paid my last fee to Mind (service charge, for their flat I lived in) so that’s £18 a week I can keep to myself! Between going to the shops, buying household stuff, calling people, and organising my finances, I feel like I have my “ducks in a row”, as a friend of mine says.

Stomp—the heavy-footed guy upstairs to whom I gave that nickname—is bothering me less, which is great. I think I’m just learning to live with the noises. Of course, dealing with new sounds in a different property is something we all go through, but when you have anxiety problems, those sounds can be a hindrance to someone’s wellbeing.

Although I’m managing my finances well, I have noticed that I’m spending too much lately. I’m spending an awful lot on food, £25 just came out for the collection, and then there are bus journies at about £5 a pop. I need to knuckle down and save harder than I ever have before if I want to undo the damage of the move.

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Social Anxiety Rant

I’m so fed up of the anxiety and especially the pressure. I’m not a regular person. As I often say, just going to the shops around the corner is a challenge for me. This is me.

There are people who seem to have little to no idea. So many times I say that I can’t do X, Y, or Z, yet they bug me about it anyway. I really hate to say this, but if I were in a wheelchair, people would take one look at me and simply accept when I say I can’t do something.

Higher levels of anxiety can—and for me often do—affect my sleep, my ability to make sensible decisions, areas of my OCD, my depression, my diet, and even toilet time. Particularly high levels can be so overwhelming that the only thing left to do is cry.

After a while, the anxiety causes muscular tension, for which I’ve seen doctors. Hell, sometimes even just communication is difficult at times, because I’m so anxious that I can’t concentrate on what I’m saying or what is being said to me!

There’s a reason I was in supported housing, took medication for years, had therapy, went to OCD support groups, am registered as disabled, don’t work, and have ongoing financial support from the government. It wasn’t for funsies.

I guess they see me moving forward in life as “Oh, he must be OK now!” It’s always an ongoing battle. Every single time I need to step out that front door, I have to push and will myself to do it, even to take out the rubbish.

Before I even go out, I obsess over what I’m wearing, how people will see me, what I’m going to do, who I might speak to, and much more, which sometimes takes a while to get past, but during that time the anxiety rises even more.

I wish those that think they know me best could just go through what I go through on a good day and a bad day, just so they could know exactly why I’m so difficult.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just these people throughout my life. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and I have to, because people want things of me, and I have to find a way, otherwise how in the hell am I going to have any sort of social life?

Maybe it’s my fault for trying to look so normal.

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

Thank you Anxiety & Panic Disorders for sharing this.

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Independent Living #2

Dealing with somewhat of a breakup is no blast, but dealing with that while living alone seems entirely different to me. I’m stuck alone, at home, with my own thoughts and feelings; I don’t like it.

Thankfully, I now have that EE broadband connection I mentioned in the previous entry. It’s good, at least for the money I’m paying. I’m getting up to roughly 900KBps download and 120KBps upload. As before, all I’m paying is £18 a month, which includes both the phone line and the broadband—pretty nifty, me thinks.

I’m very proud of myself for sorting out the gas and electric bills all by myself. I rang up Southern Electric and talked to a Scottish guy who walked me through everything. Wiki says: “Southern Electric is one of the biggest energy companies in the UK” If you’re curious.

My gas bill is £24 a month, and my electricity bill is £16 a month. That’s £480 a year, which definitely floats my boat. In time, I might be able to lower that, but I’m not too fussed because apparently I can get back any amount I overpay, or stay in credit for those colder days.

I finally got a cooker, fridge-freezer combo, and washing machine for just £540, but due to a grant I was lucky enough to get, all I really had to pay was the £40. They were delivered and installed for me, so I didn’t have to do anything but wait.

I have had one problem with the washing machine, but it’s really just the noise. The walls and floors here aren’t too grand, so if I run the washing machine at full RPM (rotations per minute) it goes ballistic, as though it’s trying to take off!

The first time I used the washing machine at 1600RPM, it rumbled the whole damn place so badly I was genuinely concerned about the woman living below me. Not too surprisingly, the same issue goes for upstairs.

Luckily, I tried a “mixed” setting today, which goes at 50 degrees, at 800RPM as opposed to 1600RPM for 60 degrees. Although it was still noisy, it was absolutely quieter and not that rumbly, so I consider that a success.

It’s an absolute joy having the whole fridge to myself, and not having to worry about someone stealing my food. I don’t have to cram my shopping into one sodding shelf; it’s such a relief.

I’ll get there eventually, it’s just going to take a little while longer.

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Independent Living #1

This post was typed up a few days ago, when I had no Internet connection:

In the first 3 days I blew what was for me a sizeable chunk of dosh in getting sorted for the new place, buying carpets, household necessities, including some other handy bits and bobs. I have the money, thanks to liberal saving, so it could of course be worse.

I’ve had an issue getting to the bank to sort out some finance issues, because I haven’t the foggiest how to GET there within this new town. I believe I’m quite a bit away from the town center.

Each and every time I go to get things sorted, I get distracted by other things or I just end up getting there too late, like today! So frustrating. Dubstep, however, is mending my wounds.

Another issue is getting the Internet sorted so I can manage the address change and my bank accounts from that angle, which is very, very preferable regarding my social anxiety. I struggle going to the bank, most likely because I have to actually interact with other human beings—gosh!

I looked online and found EE are still doing their £18 or so Internet via phone line deal (up to 18Mb, I believe) so I went into my old town with my dad today and got a confirmation on this deal, plus I was told I likely wouldn’t have to pay any installation fee since this place already has a phone line. If they decide to charge for the router, I just so happen to have my old EE router as well! Bonus.

Now that the old place is sorted, cleared out and cleaned up for the next person, I have slightly more things over in this place. I have all my exercise equipment except what’s still sitting in my old bedroom at my dad’s house, but that will come in due time.

I’m still awaiting a charity organisation to freely find and deliver a black, leather, 3-seater sofa. I’m looking forward to having somewhere comfortable to sit aside from this damn computer chair, fine and dandy as it may be. I intend in getting a “throw” for the sofa so it’ll be a little more inviting than just the leather itself.

This flat is on the first floor (just above ground level) so I have to be mindful of downstairs should I workout, or whenever I do just about anything, for that matter. Unfortunately, I do hear the odd stomp from upstairs, but it’s mostly pretty quiet here. The only real issue I have, is that the stomping tends to get my anxiety up; I’m just trying to ignore it, but it’s very distracting.

Overwhelmed by everything, I decided to just walk towards my old town, remembering from looking at Google Maps that the journey is between 1 and 2 hours on foot. I was relying on road signs to get me about, otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue!

It was actually nice to go on a walk again, even if I was only out for an hour, I was pleased to have done it once I got back home. The sun was out and I was walking past a lot of nice fields, which warranted a good few pictures. England isn’t overly spectacular for its countryside, but I’ll take what I can get!

I think, all things considered, I’ve taken the move relatively well and I’m starting to feel like I’m once again getting a grip on things, but it is still quite overwhelming.

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Mind the Supported Housing #9

It’s been a fun ride, but this will be the last entry within this section, because I am now finally no longer in supported housing, although I am still technically getting help from my support worker for 4-6 weeks after which I’ll move onto another supportive organisation for up to 2 years.

My current support worker is a lovely woman who does a fab job at making sure I’ve got things in check. I ran into issues with my flatmate who was, once again, messy and discourteous, but she, like everyone before her, is a thing of the past.

All hell broke loose when I suddenly got a call early on the 17th (my lucky number, as it so happens!) from a local Social Housing Provider who told me a place was available: a 1-bedroom flat in a town mostly unfamiliar to me. I was excited, having eagerly and anxiously awaited this moment for almost 2 years—my time finally arrived.

Although things haven’t been a cakewalk, they’ve gone surprisingly well, all things considered. My father has been fantastic in helping me get the carpets down and furniture moved; not sure what I would’ve done without him! My support worker was of course essential, but mostly on the paperwork side.

For anyone who has been reading these entries, I really am grateful that someone has taken the time to follow me on this journey. It’s been fun, arduous, and educational, but now is the time to move onto the next chapter!

If you would like to follow me into independent living, to see me crumble or succeed, then stay tuned and see what comes up!

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