Saturday, August 11, 2018

Back In The Swing Of Things

It's a beautiful rainy Sunday morning here in Nottingham. Our kittens keep running in and out of the rain as they love to be dried off when they come back inside. Seriously; Quinn has come in soaked through, yowled for attention (meaning I dry her off with their soggy-moggy towel), then she runs straight back outside, only to come in again a few minutes later.

Rinse and repeat (pardon the pun).

It's such a cute thing I can't really complain. Actually Quinn has now settled in my office chair and Harley, along with Tom our third member of the family, is stoned off their head on cat-nip. Lucy is asleep; her creative writing now hitting its stride and the shift from enjoyable hobby to career making its mark.

So a wonderfully quiet Sunday morning, with time for me to sit at the computer and get a new blog post done.

A couple of weeks back, I had another attack of anxiety while at work. I'd just finished lunch and was looking forward to the games club that night (it was a Thursday and each week we host a games night at the new Battlefront UK Games Centre). We were going to play our first games with our new Eastern Front forces and actually teach Sebastien how to play Flames Of War for the first time.

But the pressure in my head started building; vision started getting pinpoint focused, much in the same way a camera aperture closes in, and the shakes started. The worst part is the growing sensation of burning, that every molecule is starting to vibrate all through my body and my internal temperature soars. I physically start to sweat as though I've just run a marathon. Lucy and I call it my "flame on moment". Soon as that starts to come on, we know I have to get my meditation on to prevent it becoming a full on debilitating episode.

So I had to leave work and get home. Luckily my boss is extremely understanding about my condition. Anyway, long story short, I was able to get home, lie down and meditate. Apparently the meditation was so good I slept for around 25 hours, waking up mid afternoon on Friday. As I said, luckily my boss is understanding.

So what does this have to do with toy soldiers? Well, not much and everything. Mental health is such a conundrum, right?

This attack came on because I was starting to get back on my mental-health feet, a sort of last dying-breath attack. I was able to focus: I was getting tasks done at home (something which I'd been neglecting) and I was making good progress on several work related hobby projects. I painted a 100 pt force of German tanks in 3 days for a Beasts Of War appearance. I planned our Eastern Front launch event, as well as similar events for retail stores throughout September - November, and I tidied my office at home so I could really crack on with some painting.

Creative activity = calm mind.

I organised my social media stuff, getting rid of the multiple accounts, (a task in and of itself being a huge relief to me) while also creating a work-only Facebook account. All the extraneous paperwork was removed, my work diary properly updated and ready for action, and a nice long list of tasks to accomplish before month's end ready to be ticked of one by one.

Uncluttered surroundings = calm mind

This past week was so much better. I got so much done at work and at home, and was able to be in the moment for Lucy when she required my input regarding her own needs.

This all bodes well, but I am ever conscious of the fact that a new "Flame on" could happen at any moment. But I am prepared and ready for when it happens.


I fully intend to record a new episode of the podcast tonight, the plan being to get back to the weekly schedule. Topics covered will include some or all of the following:

In Good Spirits - brief talk about mental health.
Stand To Attention - all the latest wargaming news
Saint or Sinner - what I've painted (or not)
Fresh Supplies - latest additions to my armies and/or game systems
On the Horizon - what's coming out for the games I'm playing
Pledge of Honour - what I aim to get painted that week
Intelligence Brief - what I'm currently reading
Army on Parade - a look at a particular army or faction choice

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