My Extreme OCD Life….

Is the title of an excellent documentary on mental illness that was broadcast this evening on British television. The documentary features four young people as they cope with what is a very debilitating illness that tries to destroy their everyday existence. 

I’ve dealt with OCD before on the blog, and the thought processes that are put into operation to help cope with it. I alluded the brain coping with OCD to an electrical circuit. The thoughts have nowhere to go, until a factor comes along to break the circuit. Touching objects, being obsessive about cleanliness and hygiene, and ordering objects are just three typical traits of OCD.

Superb documentary to watch and I enjoy watching these kind of programmes, because this is real life, instead of the half baked rest of the TV schedules which fail to inspire on a daily basis. Watching how others cope with an illness does nothing but educate us as to the why’s and wherefores of how the brain reacts in the way it does.

One person better for the education was the father of a lady that was due to get married. He seemed fairly non committal about his daughter’s condition, but constant reminders on a daily basis has changed his opinion. We can all be better educated about mental illness.

Me? I don’t have OCD to the point it takes over my life. I check plug sockets and gas cooker knobs before I go out, just in case I’ve left something on. I haven’t of course, but it’s the fear of something that will not happen that overtakes. My OCD is mild, and doesn’t destroy my way of life. I’ve got other problems that attempt to, though! 

Fair play to the people in the documentary that allowed themselves to open up to the public about what it is like to live with OCD. It is no laughing matter. Knowledge is power. We need to keep learning all the time!

Allen Brooks xx


Fish and Chips plus VAT….

Back home now after an eventful day. I had possibly the best meal of fish and chips ever, at this venue:-

Brighton Pier had a fish and chip restaurant right in the middle, so as I was feeling peckish, I decided to chance my arm. And what a good decision that was. Washed down with a Vodka and Tonic (VAT), the piece of haddock I had was sublime. Fantastic meal. It was a bit pricey, but I don’t mind paying a bit extra for something that’s very nice to eat.

I had a good walk around, the sun came out and it was rather hot. It was also packed. Brighton is one of the more popular seaside resorts in the U.K., and today proved it. 

I also saw this:- 

This was a special lift, built by Brighton and  Hove Council in conjunction with British Airways. It’s called the i360. The views are spectacular apparently, but the sheer height of the thing stopped me from hitching a lift. It’s £16 for adults, and there’s also airport style security before you get on, a must in this day and age. It all looked rather fab, but I declined the opportunity. Perhaps next time.

Remember what I said about attracting some of the more interesting characters on my travels? Well today, three homeless people asked me for money, I declined all three, but the chap on Brighton seafront sent me on my way with a flea in my ear for not acknowledging him. Maybe it was a little rude of me. What he lacked in habitat and money, he more than made up for it with biting sarcasm. Perhaps I will acknowledge them with the time of day, rather than cold, hard cash. Civility costs nothing.

And finally, as they say on the news bulletins, on the bus home (yes, the bus), a kid of 12 got on, gave me a filthy look and sat down. All this pretence of being a tough guy soon dissipated when he opened his mouth to speak (more like shout) on his phone. I don’t think puberty has reached this lad yet, judging by a high pitched trill that must frighten the local dog population. 

That was a good day. I’m glad I took the decision to go out and get out of town. It shook me out of my wooziness and got some fresh air inside of me. Fish and Chips anyone? 

Allen Brooks xx

A word of warning….

I had a rather peculiar message sent to me on here today, that bore no relation to the blog post that I put up in the first place. In fact, it was a diatribe about racism.

If anyone is to comment on any of the blog posts, please make it relevant to what was actually written in the first place. I do occasionally write about politics on the blog, but not to excess. The blog is essentially about my life and the everyday battles with anxiety, depression and autism. 

I certainly wish to have no truck with people who use this media platform to propagate their views on race, whatever they might be. Being an author of my own scribblings, I can act as a censor as well. The comments that are deemed offensive or irrelevant will be put in the trash can, where they belong.

Just so everyone is clear!

Allen Brooks xx

London to Brighton Rally….

And I’m need of rallying I can tell you, rallying in the sense of recovery rather than driving a car.

I’ve been indoors the last two days and frankly, I was starting to get cabin fever. Everything of my surroundings was starting to get to me, that if my head came off with anger and frustration, then it wouldn’t have been a surprise.

So I needed to get out of the flat, get out of London. And on a rather oppressive and sultry day in London, I’ve decided to head to the coast, namely Brighton. A bit of sea air and a gentle stroll is just what I need.

There are of course some extraneous matters that irritate me, namely people who won’t keep to the left on London Underground walkways. A guy refused to get out of the way and I should really have barged him off course. No, I’m normally not like that, but I’m very jittery and edgy, resulting in a lot of anger and frustration. And wallies like that get my temper rising. 

Then, waiting on the platform at St Pancras, an incoming train on the other side had it’s brakes in need of some oiling. The noise of the squealing brakes was ear splitting as it arrived. Not pleasant for the temper or the ear drums.

Now, I’m on the train, and as one might expect, it isn’t going very fast. But I don’t care. I just want to be out for the rest of the day, and I don’t care how long it takes. 

That’s me, and that’s my mood. 

Allen Brooks xx

Ghosts in the Machine…

June 2010. Mum had just passed away. I was in the house on my own, and it was slightly ghostly to say the least.

There was a telephone console in the living room that connected to a call centre in the North of England. The reason for its installation was that Mum, in her last few years, was becoming less mobile and the call centre was for elderly people who had fallen while indoors or some other emergency. Mum had a device where she could press a button if she needed the call centre and she was put straight through.

After she passed away, there was of course no need for this console any more. But I didn’t know how to disconnect it and return it to the manufacturers. So I left it. 

I fell asleep on the sofa one night and it must have been the small hours of the morning, when I heard this whirring and clicking sound, followed by a voice. The console had clicked itself into operation and the call was going through to the call centre. I hadn’t touched the console, there were no loose wires or connections. It did it all on it’s own. To say it frightened the life out of me at 3 in the morning was an understatement.

I dropped off back to sleep after I cancelled the call. Then an hour or so later, the whole process started again. This was very spooky. Mum had gone a week and her spirit was very much living on, making calls from beyond the grave! 

I was in the house for a further five months, the console had been returned, but the ghostly feeling of just me in a two bedroom house was still there. I felt alone, afraid and there was no one there to talk to. All very supernatural. But the ghost of my recently deceased mother lived on….

Allen Brooks xx

The horrors of The Barcelona Terror Attack

Also yesterday, the horrors of the evil terror attack in Barcelona were brought home to a worldwide audience. A friend of mine, whose daughter lives there, sent a video of the incident happening, where people were lying scattered in the road, having been mown down by people who do nothing for their individual faith. It was the usual attack where a vehicle was used and later, dummy explosive devices. Those other perpretators met a swift and decisive end at the hands of Spanish police.

When I saw the video, I went cold. How can people do this? Well they do, and will stop at nothing to do so. We all have a responsibility, even our world leaders, to stop this barbarity and indiscriminate killing. It’s a sad and evil world out there. I won’t say any more.

Allen Brooks xx

Life is the name of the game…RIP Sir Bruce Forsyth

One of Britain’s finest ever entertainers, Sir Bruce Forsyth, has passed away at the age of 89. Sir Bruce hadn’t been well the last couple of years, so the news isn’t a total shock. 

Brucie was on the television in the UK for many decades, singing, dancing, telling jokes, presenting game shows and having a rapport with people that transcended all divides. He was a Londoner, like myself, and his career was a long and distinguished one. One memory from my childhood was his presenting of the Generation Game. I couldn’t stand him or the show when I was a child. I used to hate the fact he took the mickey out of people. Over the years though, I grew to like him and his style. He seemed immortal, as though he would never fade away, but the ultimate arbiter upstairs decided on his fate. 89 though is a fantastic life. 

Brucie had many catchphrases, but the one that marks him out was “Nice to see you, to see you nice!”. It has certainly been nice to see Sir Bruce, many many times.

Allen Brooks xx