Thursday 16th July 2015


It has been quite a hard time over the last three months trying to juggle moving forward with finding work and looking after and working with my partner’s problems.

What has made it even more difficult have been my up’s and down’s at the same time as those of my partner and the extended group. Even though we are all individuals what I do affects everyone I know and what they do affects me.

I have been trying, in the main to find a focus for myself. It has not been easy because every direction I have tried to go in has led me in a circle back to the beginning again.

Over the last few weeks perhaps a month though I have had influences more or less in the same direction and I have realised that my journey along with that of my friends appears to be in learning from and perhaps helping the future of mental health, recovery and the long-term goal of sustainable individual and local community growth.

There are so many hazards, problems and obstacles to overcome along the way and it is extremely difficult, being the person I am, to keep it all on a level key. You see I am a person that comes up with big ideas. I can see the long-term result of going in a certain direction, yet it is hard for me to bring it back down to easily manageable steps that everyone can deal with and I have to be really conscious and aware at every step that not only is it that not everyone thinks or can see what I see but that I am working with people on what seem like simple goals, but goals in any event that are hard for them to achieve. If I overstep the limit of what they can deal with it is detrimental to their wellbeing and ability to cope.

Sometimes others can see what I am talking about and get the big picture but because of their own situation, the actual dream of getting there can send them on a negative spiral. If others are seeing problems along the way, either because of past experience or their own condition, the frustration, anxiety and stress caused by trying to achieve what can seem the simplest of tasks can overwhelm them, lessening their self-esteem rather than increasing it.

I, myself can get into this position too, if I feel overwhelmed by a particular task, not knowing the right steps to take and having to work it out from the beginning. This can lead to procrastination, frustration, bad temper and what others may see as laziness. The most important problem it gives me is decreasing self-esteem and inability to move forwards or backwards. Imagine what that can feel like for someone suffering from a mental illness or trying to stay on the straight and narrow path in recovery.

I went to a meeting on Tuesday with the Leith Recovery Group who are really interested in the project we are trying to put together and spoke, in particular, with an old friend of mine from the shop days. I suddenly realised, just how much my words were affecting him, that although I recognise he has such strong leadership and management skills, that will allow him to take charge of a lot of the management of the project, I would have to be extremely careful not to push him too far, I would have to listen and be as aware at all times of where he is at and really work with him at every step of the way so that he understands and can say yes or no or make up his own methods towards management. Not only do I have to do this for him in very small steps, I also have to provide him with the tools to be able to coach others in the same way to empower him. This is the only way the project will be sucessful and sustainable for him and the rest of the group, including the extended community. I know it is a huge challenge, however, achievable, as long as I can get professional help and be absolutely sure at every stage that what I am doing is not too complicated or difficult to understand and it does bring human benefit with it.

The most important things involved for everyone are keeping the balance. Not getting too overwrought and not getting too “over the moon,” and growth for the project and the people involved both mentally and physically to be of life and health & wellbeing benefit to the whole.

It is a huge learning curve for everyone involved and I am asking for help from every professional out there on Linked-in and other networks who can help. In return, what I learn in the process of putting this together and handing it over to the community I would like to share with you, both during the process, with regular updates on how it is going and at the end in the form of a book. I know a lot of it will be recognised already but the overall benefit is it will be a practical case in action and there may be options along the way that none of us have realised could work.

The present stage I am at is linking teams together and finding out strengths and weaknesses.

I am going to start the business plan again from the beginning including the people I am working with, getting their input. I will need help from professionals with this at every stage and suggestions so that at the end of it I have a reasonably simple, workable plan.

At present I am considering that all I have is the vision and the aims which I will put to the three groups and other agencies involved over the course of the next few weeks and take it from there. I will share these with you when I have finished the discussion process.

Any help from business planning professionals at this stage would be of great help to me. I cannot afford to pay anything out for advice at this stage, however I am really serious about this project and any aid I get will be recognised throughout the process.

I started this post as an aide-memoire to myself and realised through the writing process that it is something I should share.


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