So, what have I been up to?

Therapy. Working out. Eating well. Rolling around on the ground with sweaty men. The norm!

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Well. Hasn’t a year gone fast?

It’s been nearly a year since I last posted on any of the sites or social media. It’s not so much a case of not doing anything, but more happily not having/feeling the pressure of regular posting or updates.

A lot has been going on. Since I was last active – I have committed to regular and ongoing therapy and have now been ‘officially’ diagnosed with clinical PTSD, manifesting in Disassociative Personal Disorder and Anxiety Disorder. For those who know me socially, I would pick this to be a bit of a surprise – as to be blunt – over my life, I have learnt to be very functional and mask the anxiety and issues I have had going on in my head. Throwing myself into new projects and challenges has certainly been part personality but also part coping mechanism – like many of us, keeping busy keeps me from thinking too much. Or, as best as I can describe it, it helps compress down a base level of anxiety I have going on in the background for a large part of my life.

It’s like the noise floor was raised

The anxiety aspect has been interesting to slowly come around to observing and understanding.

Because I have lived with it for so long, it became my norm. So I didn’t consciously notice it anymore. But as I have been helped to take a little step aside and observe it, I have come to see it as a low (or not so low) level of noise or hum that was/is always there – just constantly percolating away under everything and anything I did/do. Just this real base level of anxiousness sits there, slightly skewing everything I perceive, react to and do.

Having a background in Audio Engineering – the other metaphor that works for me – is that I have been living with a high-noise floor most of my life – which means all the actual signal gets muddled up with the noise and static that sits there. By working on aspects of my life and talking about and observing what’s going on, I have seen that noise floor reduce (it’s not gone, but it has reduced), which gives me more silence, more separation, more ‘dynamic range’ back in my life.

Hunting, Fishing? Not so much.

I haven’t been out as much as I used to. Life, other priorities. But, do still get out for the odd fish – though it often coincides with me needing to test something from work. However, with spring and summer quickly approaching, I am starting to plan a few camping trips with the kid and new partner – which, for the first time in quite a while – is a bit of an exciting prospect for me. Like many people, I managed to kick the passion out of a passion by trying to turn it into work (this site being the prime example) – but – I have realised that even in my new job (still at Marine Deals) – I am constantly driven to learn, document and educate – and in the last couple of weeks, I have found myself pottering around in the back end of this site again – dabbling in the idea of publishing something again. This post has been on and off for a couple of weeks – as I hummed and hared, deciding if I wanted to fire it up again.

New hobbies to document and discuss

This is actually not the first time I have got a site back up and going again after a hiatus. Before Goodblokes/TheBloke was actually another site called The Proof, which I ran while involved in the Music Industry. That also died as I burnt myself out (you would think I would learn eventually!) and, after a time, was reborn as The Bloke. While I don’t plan on a total rebranding this time around, there are certainly some new projects and hobbies I have picked up and have been focusing on since you last heard from me.

Jiu Jitsu

Oh, so on trend Kerry!

I actually signed my girls up for Jiu Jitsu before Covid – but – as has been the case for many people’s plans over the last couple of years, that didn’t eventuate – throw a separation in there as well, and getting two kids to regular training was becoming a challenge. However, I also decided in the process that I wanted to get back into something as well, so, nearly a year ago now, I signed up to do something rather new and, to be blunt, rather challenging for me.

There will be a separate article on this, but, it’s not the first time I have been involved in martial arts – but it had been a long time!

It’s going to like sound cliche, as all ‘new to Jiu Jitsu’ folk tend to sound, but, it’s been a phenomenal journey so far – and I am enjoying every training session, every challenge, and submission coming my way!

Regular training, eating better, stretching and barefoot!

A lot of this isn’t that new to me – but – nothing like being involved in a combat sport to encourage you to sort the rest of your life out simultaneously! I have gotten back into regular training around the BJJ – and, as I grow older, I realise more and more how important it is to use this body before I can’t do so anymore. Strength training, mobility, nutrition – all become more important to me as I learn to accept that this body of mine is getting older, a little more ‘worn-in’, and requires a bit more maintenance than it used to.

Therapy

As I mentioned at the top, I have been seeing a therapist every week for over a year now.

It’s helped in so many ways, and has, ironically, reminded me about some of the reasons I started this ‘journey’ in the first place. I have been seeking to ‘fix’ myself, and protect myself for a long, long time, and it’s only recently that I have finally accepted that I might need some help from someone else to do so.

So. What’s the future of the site?

Not really sure, to be blunt. I will see if I get back into a regular posting schedule, but, no promises.

I have wanted to keep this site up over the last year because of the vast amount of resources that are on it, but, I am still aware that ‘blogs’ sit in an odd place in the modern social-media landscape. What will become of it long term, I still don’t know.

So. Welcome back; thanks for the support, and hopefully, you will be hearing more from me in the near future!

Oh – also – new mix for you!