Monthly Archives: October 2014

who am I

I was thinking about the fact that having struggled with various mental and behavioral problems related to them for many years, in fact most of my life.

My first visit to an education psychologist was at the age of 8 and then followed several years until I was a about 14 when I opted out as I did not seem to be getting anywhere being a professional patient almost by that time. The reason I was sent initially was for a formal assessment as I was doing very badly at school. I had a formal IQ test and I think they were expecting me to be what in those days was referred to as ESN. The test results contradicted this.

From that point I was just tagged as lazy. For a lot of my life I did mentally non-challenging jobs, as I had low self-esteem, no formal education and was also somewhat dyslexic and not too good at maths either. This was compounded by depressive illness which hit at at puberty and has carried on to some extent ever since. In my twentys I often had severe anxiety attacks, which caused me to wake up around 03.00 with a rapidly pounding heart and a major sense of dread. Then I would be awake for an hour or so until it all calmed down. Getting up the next morning I would often be quite tired due to broken sleep.

I had a couple of brief Camelot moments when things looked up for a few months and it seemed there might be happy every afters including one job when I was 17 working at Hammersmith Odeon (Now the Apollo, in those days run by Rank Theatres) which had I been able to stay in it would possibly have given me a good career. In those days it was still showing films as well as having live music. They had a grand piano, which was the first time I had ever seen one close up, or attempted to play one. I did see a lot of very good bands then though. Unfortunately due to being bullied by some NF teenagers (who had also gained inspiration and nicked some ideas from the then recently released Clockwork Orange) and getting stalked and attacked on the way home I eventually lost that job. After this incident which involved going to court, my confidence was at an all time low. I don’t think it ever really recovered from that. I also had a particular drug experience which caused a permanent change (I had something put in a drink and ended up being dumped on the doorstep frothing at the mouth). My father seemed to think that I had brought all this on myself. I had too older sisters and he seemed to think that my behavior did not match up to his standards. Briefly before my father died at the age of 63 from cancer, we almost resolved our differences, but he was a product of his time or possibly a hangover from an even earlier time in many of his attitudes.

More time passed and I joined the Home Office and worked in various parts of the Criminal Justice system, for 13 years during which time I had more depressive illness and two major occurrences.

I got more med’s and managed to keep working through it though. I got in to IT by accident and started writing code and developing stuff, and made a very rapid rise from the bottom grade to a middle-manager. This pissed a lot of people off, particularly the graduates and some folks got a bit funny about it. Although I was capable of doing the work, my mental health continued to be an issue, and finally after starting to crack around the edges for the 5 time I resigned. One of the reasons for this was that I knew that I was not going to be able to keep it together much longer and I might well start seriously messing things up.

In truth I didn’t think things through and made a very hard landing. I did manage to do some part time IT related work, but at very low rates as I could not concentrate on complex stuff for too long. At the same time I was getting paid work as a musician, though this was very small amount compared to what I had previously earned.

These days I don’t pursue IT jobs as I can’t spend that long writing code and most jobs require hours of work, and my concentration span can only deal with short compressed bursts of concentration.

So I am stuck really, I can just about get by from month to month but at 57 with on-going mental problems its not that easy.

Recently having felt so low, I thought I would go back to the Dr’s but on reflection its always just med’s or CBT. Well CBT works to an extent, but my mood go’s where it will, so you have good days and bad days. The biggest problem is irritability though, and a certain amount of mild paranaoia.