Setting myself a challenge!

As my regular readers will have been aware these past few months I have been under some considerable stress following an extremely bad start to this year and have been unfortunate to have suffered a further couple of major setbacks to my recovery.  As a result of this a lot of insecurities and bouts of anxiety came to the surface again. However, through a combination of increased medication, determination, hope and being kind to myself, my recovery is now starting to slowly but surely take effect……at least I hope it is. I’m glad I have my blog, which is my journal and I able to record and share certain aspects of my life……this is the only way at the moment I am able to communicate with anyone, as is my photography which for me is another way of communicating and sharing my experiences.

Although my lack of confidence, especially around people and crowds is still a big problem, as is the ability to converse with anyone, I decided a couple of weeks ago to set myself a huge challenge……….huge to me, but simple for many others, I had hoped in order to regain some of that lost confidence and self-esteem.

Apart from going to and from work during the less busy times of the day, and spending my lunch breaks and a spare hour in the evening after finishing work down by the canal I haven’t been able to find the confidence to get out anywhere else. So I decided it was time to set myself a challenge a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, on the day off from work I chose to carry  out this challenge (which was the other Wednesday after the session with my counsellor) it became far too hot with the weather which made me feel unwell and also alas my nerves got the better of me, and as a result having only got as far as the train station to go from Birmingham to Worcester I bottled out and went straight back home. Depression and anxiety = 1 —- Me = 0.

However, despite that unfortunate set back I was determined not to give up that easily. As a result I set myself another challenge for today. I wanted to  go somewhere with a lot of people…..but not too overly crowded. The chance to go to either Worcester or Stratford Upon Avon  for the day appealed to me, and so I headed to the train station once again. Having got into Birmingham with it being extremely crowded, I bottled out yet again. Oh dear….Depression and anxiety = 2—-Me = 0.

Instead of going straight back home this time though, I ended up diving into the Odeon cinema and ended up watching the film Prometheus, (which by the way was brilliant) and so whilst immersing myself in that I managed to somewhat calm down. After a couple of hours in the cinema I emerged once again back into the light of day and into the centre of Birmingham, which by now had become a lot less crowded and noisy. Rather than go home, I pushed myself into going for a walk and hopefully do some photography.

Less than a mile from the main Birmingham city centre is our infamous Broad Street, and along this street is a maze of interesting statues and buildings which includes Centenary Square, the old Council House, Birmingham Art Museum and Gallery in addition to this it is an area that is composed of bars, clubs, pubs, restaurant’s and hotels including the Hyatt. As you make your way down Broad  Street, there are numerous side roads which lead off the main street and down to the various sections of the canal, known as the Gas Street Basin. This is an area of Brum one can get easily lost in, and one can actually lose yourself! Having headed down an alley  called Atlas Way, I realised that was what I did actually  need was an atlas!!  This stretch of waterway is the Birmingham & Worcester canal, and for the next hour and half I had a very pleasant and relaxing walk along the canal pathway. The whole area of waterways is full of amazing places to have a bite to eat, whether it be a light bar meal, snack or a fine dining experience, including the chance to dine in style on board one of several narrowboats/barges. For those who must have retail therapy you can enter the world of the The Mailbox further up the canal via its maze of pathways, bridges and even more pathways and bridges. Birmingham is full of interesting places to visit, historical statues and buildings and this is why I suppose it makes it a top tourist attraction in the UK outside of London. It really is a little bit of paradise away from the main hustle and bustle of a major city centre.

I have to say that despite having to force myself out today and almost failing at the first stage, I was very glad I made this  later in the day effort. At that time in the evening the crowds had somewhat dispersed, and although there weren’t too many people about, there were a fair few, who were also out to enjoy a pleasant relaxing walk, and being by the water was far more relaxing than actually attempting to get there. It had been a few years since my last visit to this area of Brum.

On my walk back to the city centre to get the bus back home, there were various groups of people setting up tents and such, putting up buntings and flags to get ready for tomorrows Diamond Jubilee celebrations. I was able to take more photos of the area. It struck me that despite the modern business city that Birmingham is, how well the old and modern architecture blended in and complimented each other so well.

Despite not being able to make the journey to Worcester today, I did walk a section of the Birmingham & Worcester canal, so in a sense I suppose I did see Worcester in one way!  Depression and anxiety = 2——Me = 1.   I’m catching up! Perhaps next time I will get where I want to go, and accept, achieve my own next challenge…..third time lucky!

Here are a few photos I was able to take.

Many thanks for stopping by.

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