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Anti-Anxiety

Back in June, I was in a position that I was struggling with motivation to do anything. There was constant nervousness about falling and not able to get up on my own and I was doing very little.

After talking with my doctor, based on online research, I read that it was a common side-effect of Gabapentin. A common reoccurring solution was to also take a mild dose of Sertraline.

Once I started taking the Sertraline, things improved a lot. I started doing more and focusing on my exercises. I also stopped crying myself to sleep every night.

Now fast forward to early this year, I was taken off the Gabapentin. It was causing weight gain and as I learned, most of the remaining pain was a side-effect of it. Which left me with just the Sertraline.

As I soul searched it really wasn’t making me feel any less lonely, or even helping with dating. In fact, it made me less motivated to go out and meet people. I went to a dance for a friend, but couldn’t bring myself to go in. My friend was having a special night and the Arcade Bar, and I struggled with motivations to go. I’ve been really tired a lot. I couldn’t even go to comedy shows that I loved.

I would make it to the parking lot and then give up. Staying in a cloud of loneliness. I haven’t been even able to write these posts. So now my prescription is over and I have stopped taking it.

Today I even waxed my car today that I lacked the motivation to do.

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Twenty-Four Thousand Four Hundred And Fifty-Five

This is not a random number, it is a big one, but not random. I woke up on the morning of September 2nd, 2016 full of energy and excited as hell. I was about to embark on the most epic trip to date. I thought to myself this is one trip that I will never forget. I remember it was a sunny day. I got up early and walked to McAllister Place and caught the bus uptown to start the day off by doing the same thing I have done for almost 3 years of Saturdays, I went to Billy’s Seafood for breakfast. I remember that I had my favourite menu item the Smoked Salmon Omelette and lots of coffee. Billy’s I always tell people is like dinner theatre the staff especially Billy the owner are a hoot.

For most people, they would have already done the packing rather than go out for breakfast, but that is not my style. After breakfast, I went home and had 90 minutes to get ready for 28 days of travelling. So at this point, you would think I would pack right? Nope! I shaved and took a shower (for 60 minutes.) After 20 minutes of running around to not forget anything, I have my bag packed! Then to weigh it 33kg. Repack 28kg. Repack 27kg. Repack 25kg. Repack 24kg. Repack 26kg!!!! Repack 23kg (cue fireworks!)

I then called a Simonds Taxi and to the airport, I was off! I arrived an hour early for my flight checked in and relaxed there was no turning back. As the plane arrived, I took lots of close photos and emailed them to myself. You never know when and air accident investigator will need them. This was part of the feeling of impending doom that was in the back of my mind from my mother begging me not to go.

I got on the plane and it was a rather unremarkable journey to Montreal. Once at Montreal’s Trudeau International, I went to find my gate, and then to find Starbucks for coffee.

I then got on my flight to London’s Heathrow airport. On the flight, I ordered the beef meal. That was a mistake, the bean salad is to die for, as in your will die. I spent the whole night with the worst gas since the last time I had the bean salad in 2013 on the same flight. It was the overnight flight but I got very little sleep.

We land in London and the first experience with “British Unholy Queueing” happened at the customs halls. This is where people use the seatbelt ropes, and keep changing them so you have no clue how long it is going to take and as you get close… nope, the line has changed again.

After I cleared the UK Border control, I went to the main lobby and picked up my Lebara SIM card so I didn’t pay the ridiculous rates Canadian cell phone companies charge. One of the perks of an unlocked phone.

Since I didn’t want to pay for luggage on my plane to Copenhagen, I decided to drop off my main suitcase at the Contiki basement. So I bought an Oyster Card and hopped on the tube.

“Please stand clear of the doors. Let customers off the train first please.”

“This is a Piccadilly Line service to Cockfosters” (giggle)

“The next stop is Russel Square. Alight Here for the British Museum, please mind the gap between the station and the platform.”

I got to the Contiki Basement and dropped my bag off and then wandered Camden, headed to St. Pancreas train station for lunch and then walked to Russel Square, Then to Green Park where I was a bit tired and had some time to kill so I slept for two hours and then walked by Buckingham Palace to Victoria Station and got on my “National Express” bus to London Luton airport. (That is nowhere near London) It is literally like calling the Fredericton Airport the (Saint John-Fredericton Airport) and assuming it was anywhere close to Saint John.

After a two-hour bus journey, I make it to Luton and the bus stops at the front door. The airport is smaller than a lot of big city airports and was very under construction everywhere. However, in typical British fashion, there was no problem everything was fine. I was really early and hungry and the airport check-in for my flight wasn’t open yet. I asked the RyanAir agent where the food places were and they ended up being on the other side of security. I looked really disappointed. However, the agent early checked me in and I was off to get food.

It seemed like forever that we waited in line and the line was long and was mixed with another flight going to a place I never heard of. I kind of thought I wanted to go there instead for a while. I turned out to be some place in Romania.

As I got on the plane, I once again took photos of the plane and emailed them to myself. This plane was like nothing I have ever flown in. The seats were very basic, no seat pockets, advertising on the bins, no leg room at all, and very friendly flight attendants. (Flight Attendants are always nice.) As we flew we had very bad turbulence and I was scared to death that this was where my mother was right and this was going to be the end, but we landed safely.

I got off the plane and got my passport stamped for country 24, Denmark. This was big as it was a while since I added Turks and Caicos on my quest for 40 countries by 40.

The Copenhagen airport was massive and it was late at night (10:30 pm) I walked to the subway station and then got on the train to my hostel, The Generator. On the train, there was a very drunk man that got on with his big bottle of hard liquor and was rambling in what I assume was Danish. It was heavy raining that night, and I was wet and tired, so after check-in, I went straight to bed.

The step-count on my fitness tracker … 24,455.

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Getting the Part

This is the third in my series on Life with GBS, if you haven’t read the first two then you should.

The next weekend, I got the call that I got a part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream if I wanted it. At this point, I was terrified that A whim had gotten me way over my head. I had not done this, and it was completely foreign territory. However, without thinking I said yes anyway.

 I got the roles of Snug the Joiner that is a very shy and insecure person that is part of a group of mechanicals that is putting together a play at the palace. And in the play, portrayed a Loin that is probably the origin of the Cowardly Lion. The second role I got was the fairy Cobweb. At first, I was really worried that the second role was going to be too much since I never even tried to memorize lines before.
As the following weekend came and we were supposed to have the first read through the cast list was published. As I read through it I noticed, I was not on it. At this moment I was overcome with relief that I was not over my head with having to pull off the biggest performance of leaving my comfort zone in years. On the other hand, my anxiety that everyone hates me kicked in and I was devastated. So, I messaged the director and asked if there was a typo not giving an indication of how I felt. To my relief it was and the list got reposted.

For the following two months I had rehearsed and memorized my lines. To my relief, the cast was very friendly and welcoming. The first mistake I made memorizing the lines was not learning the cue lines that came before it. Then learning the acting and where to be and where to move that was not in the script helped a lot with the lines I learned to go with their placement.

As we approached show time there was a night after rehearsal that most of the cast met at Pepper’s Pub and we had a great conversation and meal, and then went to hit up the dance floor at Callahan’s. One thing I learned that night is that performers are a different breed and that even though I had been working on improving my fitness by keeping up with them was really hard.

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Alcohol and Chocolate Free September

Hello everyone!

Just a quick post today and the first of many more. I have seemed to get out of my slump from the past two years and have been trying new things.

On the fitness side of things the summer has been very non-structured and I have been eating in moderation a little bit of everything,

My goal for September is going to be no alcohol or chocolate.

The first is going to be difficult as I have a German beer stein that I have been wanting to christen on the first day of Oktoberfest on September 21st but I will delay it as Oktoberfest is still going on in Munich until October 6th.

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This is crazy, Unions need to go.

This morning I heard the following story on the radio and was practically outraged by what I was hearing. Basically, the Government of Saskatchewan is offering a reasonable 6% pay increase to all the teachers, but the lousy blood-sucking unions are demanding 16%. In addition, who is going to feel bad for these teachers, 6% will make them some of the highest paid in the entire country.

Even if the Government is able to pay this amount they should not give in. The money should go to offer better supplies for learning, libraries, I would even hire actual fitness trainers than give in to the greedy unions.

I think that this country would be much better served banning unions from the public service.

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Fitness and Personality Watchmen

I’m going to start today’s post with the fact that I have joined a gym. My friend Andrea finally convinced me to join Nubody’s (Now GoodLife). I bought the membership on Thursday and finally went yesterday. Despite feeling a little sore and tired today, I actually feel better. Despite the fact that I have a lot of weight that I should lose, I am actually quite hesitant to set goals/benchmarks at this point. It has been since 2002 since I last regularly worked-out in a gym. The most exercise I have done recently is walking to work from missing the bus. Which according to Google Maps is 3.4 km which should take 39 minutes. I usually take 45-50 minutes to do it, Although I have done it in a “Vindaloo” walk in 32 minutes. (While listening to “Vindaloo” on my iPod. in one song loop mode.)

The next topic is to discuss personalities. I was recently updating my profile for the site StumbleUpon which one of the selections is personality type. Being unsure what the meaning of the letters were I did a quick Google search and found this site that offered a free personality quiz. I took the test and got these results.

Extravert, iNtuitive, Thinker, Judger (ENTJ)

ENTJs represent between 2 and 5% of the U.S. population.

Natural leaders with a hearty and frank style, ENTJs tend to take charge of any situation they find themselves in. They are good organizers of people because they have the ability to see ahead and then communicate their vision to others. Usually friendly and outgoing, ENTJs have a lot of energy, often speaking, thinking and moving quickly. Excellent strategic thinkers, they grasp new concepts quickly, even complicated or complex issues and they generally convey confidence. ENTJs often juggle several projects at once and pride themselves on completing them all with skill and efficiency. Creative and innovative, most ENTJs enjoy developing a high-level strategy and leading a team or organization towards implementation. Because ENTJs are so logical and analytical, they are usually good at anything that requires reasoning and intelligence. Driven to achieve competence in all they do, they can naturally spot the flaws that may exist in a situation and see immediately how to improve them.

Then I recall learning this during my second university stint in the class “Introduction to Organizational Behavior.” I never did well in that class. I was constantly disputing the theories involved in it but now in hindsight that maybe might have been due to the fact of my personality type…or that I did not study.

While I am at it I might as well include a review of a movie. Yesterday after the gym I went to the theatre to see “The Watchmen.” I really like the story and the acting was really good. However, the editing and attention to detail were very poor. In the Dr. Manhattan farewell scene as Silk Specter II’s hair is blowing in the wind it is filled with a green light from the green screen instead of the proper background. CEFM Rating: 3.5/5

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The Trails of Champlain Heights

Today in the mail I received another advertisement from another Real Estate agent that is trying to promote themselves by creating a community web page for the Champlain Heights/Eastwood Area at www.champlain-eastwood.com.

Now that website got me thinking the the two neighbourhoods are only separated by a small woods with a set of trails, some better than others so I went to Google Earth and grabbed a satellite shot of the area. Luckily I’m in a part of Saint John that actually has better resolution than most of the central area of Saint John. Then in Photoshop I added all the trails in green, yellow, orange, and red based on their pass-ability.