Sometimes you need to move backwards in order to move forward

Starting at the beginning

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, but I was waiting for the right time. When I first started as a website developer, I landed my first job, which I expected to be a junior role. It was at a junior salary, but they were looking for someone a mid to senior developer.

This certainly didn’t come across in their job ad, and during my interview, I must have come across as a stronger developer than I was. However, they knew I came out of college and worked as a cashier, and they knew this was my first rodeo as a professional developer. Long story short, I lasted three weeks and struggled the whole time. During the third week, they could see I was working and had to let me go. It was absolutely heartbreaking, but I was able to go back to my old job as a cashier.

I turned up to my old job and explained to my manager that it didn’t work out. I asked if I could come back, and he was more than happy to employ me once again. After around six months, I tried again at another company, where I could then move forward. Since then, I have been working as a developer, and I’ve now been in the game for around eight years.

A more recent example of going backwards

Something similar also happened recently. I left a position for a new one because I felt like I needed a change. My employer at the time was sad to see me go, but they said they would love to have me back in the future. I then began my new position, and after a couple of months, I decided it wasn’t for me. I left and started looking elsewhere. On the off chance, I could go back to my old job. I messaged my previous manager.

After some back and forth and rearranging my rate, they were happy to have me back. I’m now working at my previous position and so glad to be back. The new job just wasn’t for me, and it’s great that the door remained open. For now, I’m happy to stay for a longer time, and who knows what might happen in the future?

Don’t be afraid to move backwards

If you’re in a similar boat where you find your current job isn’t for you. Maybe you can look back at a previous employer and ask if they will have you back. You never know what might happen, and it’s not shameful to go back to a workplace prior, especially if you made a special connection and a few friends.

Picture of me deadlifting a 65kg barbell. Going into a power-clean.

Things are opening up here in the UK

From tomorrow, we’ll be able to go back to the gym. Since the beginning of this lockdown, I haven’t been able to do many workouts. People say it’s easier to workout from home but to me it isn’t the same. My wife can see that I begin to withdraw from myself and become more depressed when I don’t go to CrossFit. To some, this may seem sad but it’s what I love doing. When you love that thing so much, and someone takes it away from you, then you would feel sad.

I love being coached and working out with a group of people. That’s where I thrive, and have accepted this reality. Once I get back into CrossFit tomorrow, my life will be able to begin a new. I want to keep pushing myself but I have to remember that I haven’t worked out for over three months. My body won’t be the same as it was, and I need to prepare for that.

If you have managed to get back to the gym or a more normal routine, how has that been for you? I would love to know in the comments. ☺️

Selling merchandise on spreadshirt

I’ve been selling my “Fitness for mental health” Merch on spreadshirt for a while now, and I’ve decided to add more variety. I’m currently testing and seeing how my sales go before I make a big commitment. So far, I have a few designs up, and I’d love it if my readers could check them out.

Ten percent of profits from the “fitness for mental health” merchandise will go to Mind charity. They’re a great mental health charity who has helped me in the past. Any other merchandise is there purely for myself.

Can anyone believe 2020 has nearly finished?

Honestly, I can’t. This year has been absolutely insane, and not just for me, but for everyone. We’ve all gone through a pandemic, lockdowns and plenty of protests and riots.

Remote work at it’s worst

From March I have been working from home and I’ve not stepped into the office since. It’s been nice not having to travel or stuck in traffic. However, at times, it has been frustrating. There are times when work would have benefitted from a few more eyes. There are also times where I would love to socialise with others. My wife has still been going into the office as her workplace requires her there. So here I am. Working alone. With my three cats to keep me company.

Protesting and rioting

Then there’s the protests and riots while going through a pandemic. So many countries are rightfully angry at their governments and leaders because they feel they aren’t being treated right. Black men and women have felt let down and betrayed by the very people who are supposed to protect them.

America’s current president

Donald Trump has lost the vote but refuses to leave his post. He acts like a baby when he loses. I think a lot of people will rejoice and cheer the day he moves out of the White House and Biden finally moves in.

Our mental health struggles

Mental health has also been a struggle for many including myself. I’ve had times where I thought the pandemic wasn’t affecting me, and I was moving forward in full force. However, this quickly fell flat, and although I did make some great progress, I also went through many days of doubt and anxiety.

Looking forward to 2021

Hopefully, the holidays and having days of celebration will help us all stay positive. I’m looking forward to tomorrow as it’s the first of December, and the first day I can open my coffee advent calendar.

I hope that anyone reading this finds joy in December, and has many things to look forward to next year. I for one hope we can go back to live gigs and really appreciate live arts once again.

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Fitness for Mental Health a CrossFit event to help raise money for mental health

The information below was taken from my Just Giving page. If you would like to donate then please head over to this link where your donation will be hugely appreciated. Also, if you would like to buy some “Fitness for Mental Health” merch, head over to here. 90% of all profits will be doanted to Mind Charity.

We will be performing a Crossfit workout named Becky on the 12th of October. Anyone can participate and all donations will be greatly appreciated. If you do perform the workout, a video of your performance will also be greatly appreciated too, in order to help spread and raise awareness for mental health. You can use the hashtag #FitnessForMentalHealth on all your favourite social networks to help spread awareness.

I’m doing this because my wife and I have both suffered from severe mental health. I’ve had major anxieties due to work, to a point where I would throw up constantly if I took a day off work. My wife has had severe depression because of struggles within her life. We also know so many people who either suffer or have had suffered from mental health in one way or another.

I want to give something back to everyone who suffers through life and doesn’t want to wake up in the morning for work or to see friends. This is why I’m fundraising and all donations received will be going to Mind Charity because they do some amazing work for those that suffer from mental health.

The workout is as follows…

For Time

  • 800 meter Run
  • 30 Squat Snatches (95/65 lb)
  • 400 meter Run
  • 30 Hang Cleans (95/65 lb)
  • 200 meter Run
  • 30 Back Squats (95/65 lb)
  • 400 meter Run
  • 30 Push-Ups
  • 800 meter Run
  • 30 Pull-Ups

A little background behind the Crossfit workout called Becky…

“Becky” Rebecca Sefscik, a coach at Crossfit The Tracks (Erlanger, KY) and US military veteran, created this workout herself in 2012. Becky Sefscik took her own life on August 31, 2015, after a battle with PTSD.

Her box’s website posted that the workout “was tough, just like Becky…She was one of our favourite trainers, best friends and she’s missed every day. She was not only an amazing coach, but she was one of the strongest people we all knew, mentally and physically.”

In 2015, starting with a CrossFit The Tracks fundraising event on September 7, over 100 gyms and thousands of CrossFitters worldwide did this WOD in a celebration of Becky’s life and supporting 22 Until Valhalla for veterans and families affected by suicide and PTSD.

Crossfit Spirit of the gym award

Michael’s mental health story — Wellbean blog

I’m happy to announce that my mental health story has been published on WellBean’s blog. If you would like to give it a read, then please head over to the link below. Thank you for taking your time to read it.

I invited people to share their mental health stories on my blog to help people who are suffering understand that they are not alone. 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental health condition so by sharing our stories we can contribute to a wider discussion and help break down the unhelpful stereotypes. Michael Brooks, […]

via Michael’s mental health story — Wellbean blog

In Spite of Fear

Affiliate links:

Please be aware that the links in this article are affiliate links. If you click on them, I will gain some sort of commission. All money gained will help future blog posts.

I watched a video today by the lovely Anna Reel where she says “In spite of fear, do it anyway”. This pretty much goes along with what I’ve read. A book called Feel the Fear and do it anyway explains it in much better detail. However, the basics of it are, if you fear something, you should do it anyway. Usually the best outcomes in life are because you faced fear head on.

Take skydiving, for instance, no one ever does it and not feel fear. Especially on their first try. However, when you take the leap, it can be a breathtaking experience. This can also be applied for speaking in front of an audience, releasing a song, book or picture to people you don’t know. Whatever it is you want to do, do it! Give it all that you’ve got, and you honestly won’t regret it. It’s better to regret something you’ve done, then it is to regret something you haven’t.

Appreciation Post

As it’s a Monday, and Monday’s can usually bring us down. I thought I would use this post as a way of appreciation. I want to thank all of my blog, email, Twitter followers, friends and family. Without you reading my blog and the support you give, I probably wouldn’t have created so many posts in such a short time-span.

I managed to kick my anxiety which would tell me not to post because no one would read it. And thanks to all you lovely people, you’ve helped me feel grateful for the audience I have created. Without you guys, I would have probably stopped short in January and not bothered any more. I’m going to run some more experiments on my blog for the foreseeable future, so I can get an insight into what works, and what doesn’t. I hope you all stick around, and for anyone new here, I hope you find your place here.

If this is the first post you’ve read, then please take a look at my past posts. I’m hoping you will like my content and stick around. You can even follow my RSS feed, or you can subscribe to my newsletter using the sidebar. I have Twitter and Facebook if that’s more your thing.

What are you grateful or appreciative of this month? Let me know in the comments below.

Silencing your anxieties

A few days ago, I wrote a Tweet on the best ways to silence your anxiety/depression. When I was going through terrible anxiety due to work (talking about throwing up). I found gaming was the most helpful thing for me. I could game for hours and because my mind was so focused, nothing else mattered.

As soon as I came away from gaming, and did something that required less attention, my mind would wonder. This had bad consequences as it would start to worry, and it would leave me with terrible anxiety. I would run to the bathroom and throw up. Literally to the point of having an empty stomach, it was not nice.

Some people may think of this as an excuse, but it really isn’t. Gaming is just one avenue, and I eventually transitioned to CrossFit. CrossFit is another channel to help me get through the bad times. Sometimes though, it can also be an enabler, but it has helped me to control my anxiety, and not let it get the better of me.

Any and every activity could help

If you love reading, writing, meditation, yoga or even knitting, then I highly suggest you keep using that as a way to focus. This will in turn help you through your darkest days and give you some sort of achievement. You don’t even have to be amazing at what you do, you just need to find enjoyment.

Find friends or a voice

As well as these activities, you could also try talking to your friends, as it’s always good to share. If your friends know about your issues, then they can also try to help.If you lack friends, then someone on the end of the phone or meeting new people could help. There are so many charities out there trying to help, and you could use one of those.

Dealing with Depression and Anxiety, becoming a stronger, better self

As some of you readers may know me by now and possibly read my previous post. Which explained how I went through a hard time with work. And built up a lot of anxiety with myself and felt as though I wasn’t a good enough developer.

Well, I wanted to update on my progress as this year I was made redundant once again. And it was for the same reason. The company was in a struggle to find funding and therefore had to make some cuts.

Worried about slipping again

My family were worried that I would slip again. And get the same level of depression and anxiety which I previously had and had worked so hard to alleviate.

However, things felt different. Yes, I did get some level of depression and anxiety, but nowhere near my previous conditions. I think that the things I did in the past to overcome my levels last time were used again this time around and really helped me stay focused.

Basically, I went through the HackerRank website to help keep my development skills up. And at the same time keep my confidence levels up. To a point where I didn’t feel helpless and like I was rubbish at my job.

Also, I talked a lot more openly about my job loss and how I was feeling. Sometimes there were still some roadblocks. However, they weren’t nearly as bad and I felt more positive about myself and my situation.

My family also gave me a lot more help and understood things a lot better.

My biggest advice is always find something which can boost your self-confidence. Whether it’s programming, exercising or even just talking to friends and family or even a specialist. Keep telling yourself that the reason you’re in this situation is not your fault. And that you can find something better.

I hope people find this just as encouraging as my last post and remember to always talk about your problems. Hey, if you need someone with a similar experience then I’m always here through email, Twitter or even Facebook. Always keep smiling.

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