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Working Out – Clearing the Mind of Clutter

Ever since I were a youngfla, over-thinking was probably my weakest characteristic. Too many hours spent working out what was the right decision to make or what shirt to wear. Every little situation becomes an exercise in over-analysis and debate. Chuck some ingredients of procrastination and “ah fuck it” in there and you have the recipe for an eventual meltdown.

I’ve had a few of these over the last 20-odd years. One was when I found out I was being made redundant from the Prudential when I was living in Belfast. I’d worked hard to become a Team Leader there and having it stripped away was a major shock to the system. From being in cruise control with my life to suddenly feeling incompetent and disposable proved difficult to overcome. Although I found new employment fairly rapidly, the effect it had been obvious. I became very restless in the following years and this eventually led to my marriage breaking down.

There were other mitigating factors for this happening: an addiction to World of Warcraft, money worries among others. But no longer working for the Prudential sparked that descent into losing much of what I valued in my life. Eventually, when the separation came (a decision which caused endless sleepless nights and erratic behaviours before and afterwards), I began to drift aimlessly. It was hard to relate to people, even those close to me. Knowing what I know now, those were the early seeds of suffering from depression.

And yet, in 2012, when I moved back to Dundalk full-time, things started to pick-up. Although I was again made redundant after 10 months working for Vodafone, it didn’t have the same impact as before. I’d made a lot of new friends and, because they all lived so close to me, they helped guide me through that short period. I found work again reasonably quickly in Boylesports. Life was moving along nicely. I saw my kids every few weeks, paid my maintenance (being able to provide was crucial in maintaining sanity) and generally everything was hunky dory.

Then, in November 2013 I hit the jackpot. It might have been on the night-shift, solving problems for PayPal’s eccentric American customers, but this was the golden opportunity for stability at long last. Throwing everything I had and more into the company, I achieved 2 rapid promotions. By April 2015 I was a Team leader again, managing people I genuinely loved and respected. Life was good. Hindsight might be a wonderful thing but it’s really no feckin’ use to you at the time when things take a turn.

I mentioned in a previous post about how I was living life to the full. By this, I was contemplating whether I was actually being a bit of an arse. Not a malevolent arse but one who took carefree a bit too far. I was out drinking heavily at the weekends and having the occasional bottle of Jemmy at home. (Spread out over time, not all at once) Thinking about it now it was all stress-related. I was struggling at work, dealing with an over-bearing, narcissistic bully as my manager. To go from being all things to all men, cultivating healthy working relationships with those above and below me, I could suddenly do nothing right for this boorish oaf. If I ever write my memoirs, he will have a chapter all to himself.

Every day suddenly became a struggle. From bounding merrily into work daily, I became tentative and anxious about boarding the company bus each morning. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to worry about every piece of work I did or prepared not knowing how he would react to it. However I muddled along, determined to ride out the storm. And then the crash came. Not a full head-on collision but one which certainly threw everything upside down.

My kids came to live with me. I mentioned it briefly in that post before but, safe to say, I found it difficult coping with this responsibility on top of the issues at work. I’ll admit I felt sorry for myself at the beginning. I’m more than a little ashamed of that fact. However, I’m not anymore. It’s still not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d not have it any other way now. The depression still lurks though, probably due to the resultant unemployment from all these clashing incidents. And it was starting to show.

We’ve now reached the actual point of this whole shebang. Hurrah I hear you cry. The end is almost nigh. You see, since I’ve started exercising and attempting to be generally healthy, I’ve noticed a change. No No No, not the CHANGE! (I had that in 2010 when my mid-life crisis came a few years too early). I feel better about myself. Each day, when I drag my saggy arse to the gym, I’m feeling like I’m accomplishing something. Nothing major, just tiny little steps towards achieving a goal.

What is the goal? Apart from wishing to lose 20kg I’m still not 100% sure. Is it general all-round happiness and contentment? Is it that I feel confident enough to rejoin the workforce and be productive and financially better off again? The answer to that part is yes. Feeling ready already, if that makes sense. Is it so that I become a worthwhile catch for the life-partner that will accompany me to the end of my existence. (I really don’t mean for that bit to sound so morbid hehe) A major factor is that I can be the worry-free, no-longer miserable wretch that my kids have seen me as in the past. That’s certainly top of the list.

So yes, it’s all of those. Possibly some more which I can’t think of right now. It has been 3 weeks of exercise and I can feel the difference. A good friend of mine, who for a long time was encouraging me to get up of my arse and do something about fitness, was right you know. She advised I would not know myself if I started and made a concerted effort to be healthier and fitter. It took the words of someone else to kickstart the process but she was telling me the truth.

Now I’m a believer. I’ll not be zealous about it all. No fun in that, for you or me. All I know is that I want these feelings to continue. And It’s up to me to make it happen.


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