World Mental Health Day

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This past Friday (October 10, 2014) was World Mental Health Day.  And although this year’s theme was dealing with Schizophrenia, I think it’s an important day to reflect on where we each are with our mental health.  Regardless if you feel you might have mental health issues or not.

Mental health is about the way you think and feel, your ability to deal with ups and downs that occur in your life.  We all have good days and bad ones, and it’s important to have a foundation there to help you through the bad days so you can enjoy the good ones more.

Here are a few tips how to look after yourself and your mental health.

Talk it out

Some may think talking about your feelings shows weakness, when in fact it’s the opposite.  Those that can open up about their feelings and express them generally have a better chance to cope or take charge of their mental well-being.  Not to mention the feeling of being supported and less alone.

And if you’re having difficulty expressing how you feel in a couple words, then that’s fine.  Use as many words as you need.  Allow yourself time to ramble about how you’re feeling in your head and how those feelings are affecting you.  There’s no rush.

Watch what you eat

bad-diet-habitsMost people when they’re feeling down will turn to food as an emotional replacement.  They try to eat their feelings instead of expressing them, and that could potentially be harmful long-term to both your physical and mental health.

By grabbing some chocolate, a highly caffeinated drink or a greasy take-away, you aren’t helping yourself get out of your downer but are instead feeding it and giving it ammunition to grow.  As much as that oh-so-delicious kebab smothered in garlic and chili sauce may taste when you’re feeling blue, it really isn’t going to make you feel better.  In fact, your body and mind would thank you more for a well balanced meal.

Don’t be a stranger

One of the big mistakes people make when feeling down is they don’t reach out to their friends and family for support, because they think that is being weak and they should only deal with the issues themselves.

However reaching out helps you feel included and cared for.  When you discuss what’s bothering you with someone, they can give you a different view of the situation, give some advice, help you see the bigger picture, and hopefully get you out of the house to stay active.

Sometimes the best thing to help you mentally is to just chill with a friend and have a few laughs.  You’d be amazed at how much that helps.

Take a break

Sometimes a change of pace or scenery can do a lot of good for your mental health, and it doesn’t have to be some big holiday to a beach resort.

man reading in bathIt could be something as simple as putting your feet up, exploring a new neighbourhood, reading a book in the bath, or even a quick nap on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Basically give yourself some ‘me’ time to relax and let the world wait for you to come back to it.  There’s no rush, things can wait.  If you don’t take time for yourself, then your mental health can suffer and concentration can go down.

Rest.  Recharge. Revitalise.

Value yourself

Let’s be honest.  Having good self-esteem helps you cope when your life makes a sharp left turn out of nowhere.  By feeling confident about who you as a person, you can better handle the things that come up without them dragging you down.  Not only will others find you more confident, but you will value yourself and your own contributions more.

It’s about being proud of who you are as a person, where you are/come from, and focusing on what you’re good at instead of obsessing over what you’re not.  And if there’s something about yourself you’re not happy about, then take the time to work on it and improve that part of yourself.

Stay active

This isn’t about becoming a gym-bunny and working out like crazy.  Sure, a good workout can do your body and mind a load of good, but this is more about just getting up off the couch and getting out there in life.  It could be as simple as a walk in the park, or doing some housework, or dancing your butt off at some club.

The important thing is to maintain some regular activity that will release endorphins and other chemicals into your brain that help you feel good.  And feeling good boosts your self-confidence, helps you concentrate, and generally makes you feel better about yourself overall.

Drink Sensibly

article-1190860-05701F1E000005DC-908_306x343A lot of people turn to alcohol as a way to deal with their problems, thinking that a glass or two of wine will help you unwind and deal with the issues at hand.  But this is only temporary, and when you’ve drunk to excess, the bad feelings are compounded due to the withdrawal effects of the alcohol.

Basically excessive drinking (or smoking or using drugs) only give you a temporary reprieve from your issues and can cause larger issues long term.  Getting drunk to change how you feel when you’re stressed is unhealthy and doesn’t allow you to deal with the issue at hand.

Speak up

Not enough of us are willing to speak up and ask for help when we can’t cope with something.  For whatever reason society has dictated we must all be super-humans and deal with everything internally ourselves, without ever showing any signs of weakness.

Not enough of us will ask for help, even if it’s as simple as talking things over with a loved one.  And those who need more than just a friendly shoulder to lean on, we need to be more willing to ask for professional help, be it from our GP’s or a councillor or therapist.  Or you can join a peer support group of some kind.  Whatever works to help you get through the issues at hand and allows you to move forward with your life.

Enjoy yourself

When you’re feeling down, go do something you enjoy doing and are truly good at.  By doing so, you’ll feel you’ve achieved something and it can help boost your self esteem and forget your worries for awhile.  It changes your mood and forces you to concentrate on something other than the issue at hand.

It can be anything as long as it allows you to identify as yourself, not as someone in relation to someone else.  It can something competitive like playing a game of football, or something creative like spending an hour with your sketchpad drawing.  Just have some fun and get away from yourself for a bit.

Caring is sharing

helping-handTaking care for someone else can be an important way to improve your mental health.  It doesn’t have to be as in-depth as physically caring for an elderly family member, but could be as simple as showing those around you that you value them and care for them.  It helps maintain those relationships and could also bring you closer together.

For some people, this can be done through volunteering or charity work, or could be through caring for an animal.  Regardless of how you do it, it allows you to create bonds with those around you, structure to your day, and gives you a link to other people.

Click here to read the original article –> 10 Ways to Look After Your Mental Health.

Walk Around Edinburgh

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Here are just a few (dozen) of the pics I took on my recent trip to Edinburgh.  My best mate P and I went wandering around the city centre, up to the Royal Mile, and then back around again.. And since I love old architecture, there’s tons of pics of the buildings.

Enjoy x

IMG_2222 IMG_2227 IMG_2229 IMG_2230 IMG_2232 IMG_2233IMG_2242 IMG_2236  IMG_2238 IMG_2240  IMG_2243 IMG_2244 IMG_2252IMG_2254IMG_2245IMG_2251   IMG_2250 IMG_2247  IMG_2237 IMG_2253 IMG_2255 IMG_2256 IMG_2257 IMG_2258IMG_2259  IMG_2261IMG_2266 IMG_2271  IMG_2265 IMG_2263  IMG_2264 IMG_2268 IMG_2272IMG_2277 IMG_2273IMG_2269 IMG_2274 IMG_2275 IMG_2276  IMG_2246

Throwing a Wrench in the Works

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There definitely seems to be a lot to get caught up on, especially my recent visit to Edinburgh and spending the weekend hanging with my best mate, partying our way through the various BearScots parties.

But that can wait.. I’d meant to write about this last week but hadn’t gotten around to it.  Plus I still wasn’t sure how I felt about it…

I’ve been given notice to move from my landlord, meaning I have to move house by end of October.

It was completely unexpected and totally caught me off guard.  Since I moved in over a year and a bit ago, everything has been great.  To the point where he’d said I totally fitted into the house, as I’d basically made it my home alongside him.

Now I’m not going to go into massive details of the situation or talk about my landlord/housemate as I’d promised when I moved in that I wouldn’t.  And I’ve done my very best to honour his wishes in that respect.

Basically he’s decided he’d like to live alone for awhile, as he’s had a rough year (his business, so not going to write about it of course) and would like to go into the new year refreshed and regrouped.

When we discussed it, he did tell me point blank that the reasoning behind this decision (which he was almost as upset as I was about) had absolutely nothing to do with me.  There hadn’t been anything I’d done or anything he was upset with me about, just that he needed to do his own thing for while.

To say this is a pain in the ass for me is a definite understatement.  Just as I was truly settling into the new job (almost three months now) this happens to throw a wrench in the machine.  It was not something I really needed right now, especially as I’d been quite comfortable and happy living there.

So.. what now?  Now I have to look for somewhere else to live, something I absolutely hate to do.  I’ve been putting off actually looking until I got back from Edinburgh, but now is time to see what I can find.

I have been taking a quick look here and there online to see what is out there, room or flatshare-wise, and in the areas I’ve been looking I’m not sure I could afford what I’m seeing.

The rent I’m paying at my current place totally fits my budget and salary, and getting to work from here is super easy.. both of which I’m looking for in a new place.  But I also want to find something that isn’t so far out from Central London, as it’s always a chore to get into town and back again if I go to meet friends.

Admittedly if it wasn’t for where my job is (Forest Hill), I’d consider moving to North London for a change of pace.  But if I were to do that, it would take me a lot longer to get to work.  Plus I would have to travel through Central London, meaning my transport costs would be much more than they are at the moment.

Oh well.. I’ve just over 3 weeks to find some place new.  I just really hope it’s somewhere nice and affordable, and if it’s another flat/houseshare that the people are really easy to get along with.

Just sucks that finding a place of my own is out of the question, budget-wise.  :-(

Where Does the Future Lead?

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Sometimes I can’t help but wonder (and worry) about what the future has in store for me and where my life is going.  It worries me because I don’t feel like I have a plan or a goal to work towards, or have any real set destination in mind for my life going forward.

A lot of the time I just feel like I’m floating through life, letting the world around me flow by.  Or when I’m feeling a bit down, like I’m paddling against the currents trying to get somewhere unreachable.

But why is that?  Why do I constantly feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle just to have the life (I think) I want?  Why does it feel like I’m watching the world pass me by as I see others enjoy and (sometimes) squander what I would truly like to have?

Interestingly I know if I put a plan in place, I can carry it out successfully.  Hell, just look at what I went through planning and preparing when I first moved to London over six years ago.  I had a goal in mind, and I created a plan to get me here.. and I did it (albeit 2 months later than planned lol).

Hopes and DreamsSo I know I can do what I need to when I want to get somewhere in life, but why am I not doing it any more?  What is it that is holding me back?  Am I that afraid of failing?

Or is it more that I’m afraid of actually succeeding, so I don’t even try?  Or that I don’t think myself worthy enough to succeed?  Why won’t I take that leap of faith and just go for it?

But I suppose the real question here is what is it that I truly want out of life?

And the answer is  – I honestly don’t know anymore.  Sure, I can easily say I’d love to have an amazing relationship, a fulfilling career, a healthier more fulfilling life, or a dozen other vague and ambiguous ‘goals’.

Realistically I need to decide what exactly each of those things mean for me and how I can work to building what I want in life.  Sure, a relationship isn’t exactly something I can make happen as it’s dependant on another person, but career and lifestyle changes are solely within my own hands to make happen.

I’ve said many times before how I’d love to write full time, to be a published author or perhaps write a regular column for a magazine.  But why am I not doing it?  Why am I holding myself back from actually taking a chance in life?

Holding-Self-Back_HeaderPure and simple it all comes down to confidence, in myself and my abilities.  To be confident that people would actually pay money to read something I’ve written, be it a novel or something else.  To believe in myself enough to take that step and put my words out there .. although I kind of already do that here, to an extent.

I’m still not sure what the future holds for me, but I hope it’s full of success, happiness and love.. and that it would show up already.  LOL

* * * * *

On a side note – please see my new ‘Contact Me‘ page if you’d like to drop me a line but aren’t comfortable leaving a comment on a post.  Spammers need not apply. :D

Learning to Love Yourself

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Let’s be frank – before someone else can love how amazing you are, you need to learn to love yourself first.  Despite what you may think, self-love is not a crime..

And no, that’s not some naughty joke about masturbation.  ;-)

Being happy with yourself and loving who you are as a person is the first step towards fulfilling your dreams, achieving personal growth, and yes even finding that ultimate happy relationship with someone special.

SELF_LOVE_by_DesignADPDespite what some may think, loving oneself is not about being narcissistic or being so totally selfish that you think life revolves around you.  In fact it’s about finding a balance in your life, without neglecting your own feelings.

And at the same time we need to recognise that living for the positive feedback from others to bolster their sense of being ‘good enough’ is no substitute for loving yourself. Sure, it’s important to help others, especially loved ones, but it shouldn’t be your sole reason for living.

It’s about finding a balance between selfishness and selflessness.  You would become more emotionally balanced due to a healthier sense of what it means to be accepting of yourself – the good, bad and everything in between.

It ultimately helps if you can understand that you’re just as important as anyone else, and that your thoughts and feelings are valid.  It doesn’t matter if you grew up thinking others were better than you, because you can break the cycle and start learning to love yourself just the way you are.

Self-love involves the following (via Self-Love is Not a Crime: Learning to Love Yourself | World of Psychology):

Self-care.

Self-care means you treat yourself just as kindly and thoughtfully as you would anyone else. If you are uncomfortable doing something, then you don’t do it and that’s OK. Just because somebody might be disappointed that you didn’t help him or her, that’s his or her choice to feel that way.

Considering your needs.

If that means others don’t get all of you, all the time, then that’s also OK. People can learn to adjust and be responsible for themselves.

Caring for yourself with the same level of effort that you do for others.

That might mean you don’t always fulfill your goal of helping others because you’d prefer to spend time doing something for yourself. That’s not selfish.

Accepting yourself for all that you are —

Both your positive aspects and your human fallibility.You cannot be all good all the time. That’s OK. You can work on self-improvement, but that doesn’t mean you discount the parts of yourself you don’t like as much. Those aspects are still part of your whole.

Saying no to others’ requests. Its-Ok-To-Love-Yourself

That’s OK. You are not totally responsible for everybody else’s needs.

Working toward self-love and acceptance can take time. If you are somebody who has little regard for yourself, then you might want to start with self-like-a-little, working up to self-like. In time, you’ll learn to self-love and accept yourself for all that you are.

Read the full article at –> Self-Love is Not a Crime: Learning to Love Yourself | World of Psychology

More Dating Debacles – The Second Date

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It’s such a lovely feeling when you’ve met up with someone nice or interesting and you’ve agreed to meet them for a second date.  Sometimes things just never progress past a first date, which is fine as not everyone is compatible.

But let’s be honest, sometimes there really shouldn’t be a second date regardless of how well the first one went.  And sometimes the second date with someone mediocre could be even better than the first.

Not too long ago, I met a kinda sexy Italian guy for a couple drinks on a Friday night, and despite having trouble understanding him at times (very thick accent), we’d ended the night have a bit of a snog on the sidewalk after we’d left the pub.

About a month or so later and several text conversations about going for a drink again, we finally agreed to meet for drinks one Friday after work.

However alarm bells should have been ringing in my head as we were arranging things when he (presumably) joked asking if I was going to bring a friend with me.. Because he would love to have a threesome with me.

Ummm.. huh???  Where did that come from?  Especially since we hadn’t really chatted about sex at all.

Playing along a bit, I asked ‘Am I not enough for you?’ (loaded question, I know..), to which he quickly back-pedalled, stating of course I was.

beardy threesomeI just brushed it off as some harmless joking and flirting…

…Until the morning of the day we were to meet, when he messaged me asking if it was ok if he brought a friend with him.

Seriously?!?  WTF??

Sure, there’s the old stereotypical joke about what does a gay man bring on a second date – they bring a second date.  But was that what he was really hoping would happen, that this ‘drink’ would turn into a threesome?

Instead of running for the hills, I told him it was fine if he brought his ‘friend’ as long as he wasn’t expecting some crazy threesome.  I made sure that he understood that, because I don’t just jump into bed with just anyone, especially not someone I’ve never met.

He once again tried to play it off as a joke, saying something along the lines of two guys for him.  Then tried to play it off as him being a silly Italian, as if that somehow explained it all, and then said he just wanted to invite his friend out as he was ‘new’.

This made me think that maybe he was inviting the guy out because he’s new in town or doesn’t know a lot of people, which is admirable to an extent.  But if you’re going out with someone on a date (at least that’s how I was looking at it..), bringing someone else along doesn’t exactly give a lot of confidence in your interest.

But maybe that’s just me.

So, time came to meet up for the drink, and the friend didn’t show up until about an hour later.  And even then, he only stayed for one drink before heading home because he had to get up early for work.

It wasn’t awkward or anything, and there was no mention of anything happening between the three of us (and it wouldn’t have, as I didn’t find the friend attractive at all), but I can’t help but wonder what the Italian’s motives were behind it all.

Afterwards the two of us went to my place for a bit of fun, but I got the impression that he wasn’t all that interested or was somehow disappointed with how the evening went.  It wasn’t anything he said, but when we were playing around there was a definite lack of physical reaction on his part, if you know what I mean.  ;-)

disappointmentWho am I kidding, there just wasn’t any passion between us.  At least not on my part.

In the end, this ‘second date’ just left me feeling disappointed and frustrated (on more than one level lol) about the whole thing.

Guess it goes to show that you need to trust your instincts, regardless of how desperate for a date you are.  ;-)

Digital Dating – Private Pics

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As if being a single gay man and looking for love/lust/sex/whatever strikes your fancy through the various smartphones apps and online websites wasn’t daunting enough, but apparently we all need to be amateur porn stars too.

Or at least it can sometimes seem that way at times.

Although it’s really nothing that new, but these days everyone seems to have a few nudie pics of themselves and are sharing them with every Tom, Dick or Harry they chat to.

But is this a good or bad thing?  At what point have we gone from being open about ourselves and our bodies to oversharing?  Have we gone past the point of saving a bit of mystery for later on in the dating process?

Admittedly a large percentage of the guys using these apps are just looking for a hot shag, but is immediately opening your private pics or sending a couple of dick/ass shots the best way to start a new conversation?  Whatever happened to saying ‘Hi’ first at the very least?

Now I don’t mind seeing a bit more of some hot guy at some point in the conversation, but not as an opening line.  Is that supposed to make me fall to my knees and beg for it?  Ummm, I don’t think so.  LOL

I suppose everyone has their own comfort levels when it comes to sharing their naughty pics with whomever they’re chatting to, and that’s cool.  For me, I want to get to know someone a bit more before I start seeing parts of them I’d rather discover in the bedroom.

And to be fair, I’m more interested in how they kiss and cuddle than if they’ve got a monster shlong, or pictures of them performing/receiving either oral or anal sex, or even what they look like when they’ve reached orgasm.

Yes, it’s happened on many occasions.. usually in video form lol.

As for my own pictures, I tend to only send them to those guys I’m actually interested in, if I send them at all.  A few years ago I made the conscious decision to remove most (if not all) of my private pictures from the various sites/apps I’m on and replaced them with other pics of myself.  Different face pics, or candid shots when out with friends.  Pictures that I hope would show more about me and my personality.

Oh who am I kidding.  Most of these guys online really aren’t interested in seeing our personalities.  ;-)

I do find it interesting (and more than a little bit sad) how we’ve moved away from actually getting to know each other to seemingly trying to determine sexual compatibility by looking at a few naughty pics.  It’s as if, as gay men, we can’t decide to meet someone unless we’ve seen every naked pic of a guy from every conceivable angle.

Are we so obsessed with sex that we won’t even try to find emotional or mental connections with someone before deciding to exchange bodily fluids?

Or maybe I’m just an old-school hopeless romantic who misses the days when you’d meet people for actual dates before jumping in the sack.  Mostly.  ;-)

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Digital Dating – The Profile Pic

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For anyone who’s ever tried to find dates online, one of the things you need to have is a decent profile picture.  This could be some fun candid shot of yourself while out with friends, or could be something more posed.. or could even be the much lauded ‘selfie’ that pretty much everyone is taking these days.

A good profile picture is important because it’s your ‘calling card’ and it’s what is going to get people initially interested in visiting your profile to find out more about you.  Or at least that’s the hope.

Of course it all depends on what you’re looking for.. some guys out there are only looking for a bit of fun so they’ll put a shirtless pic of themselves, or try to push the boundaries of the nudity rules and post something a bit racier.

Unfortunately for some people they just don’t seem to get the idea behind a good profile pic…

25 Unexplainable Profile Pictures

Here are a few thoughts on picking out a good profile pic.. now if only I could find the right pic for my own profile. ;-)

Post more than 1 pic of yourself

How does posting just one pic of yourself, or several similar pics in the same pose/look, help you garner interest of the guys looking through the profiles?  Let’s be honest – it doesn’t really.  The whole point is to give your prospective date (or whatever) more of an idea of what you look like, and perhaps give them more of an insight into your personality (depending on what you’re doing in the pictures, of course).

Obviously put your best face forward for your main profile pic, and then select a couple others that help show who you are as a person, be them just facial pics or full (clothed) body pics.

And smile, damn it!  LOL  You’re not going to get guys messaging you to find out more if you’re looking grumpy or sad in all your pictures.

Selfie or no Selfie?

selfieLet’s be honest, everyone these days has at least one picture of themselves taken while standing in front of a mirror.  It’s become the standard thing when taking pics of yourself.  But is this what you should use for your main dating site profile pic?

It’s never an easy thing to take a decent picture of yourself, be it in the mirror or holding your mobile/camera towards you and hoping you get a good shot.  What you could do is use pictures taken of you by others while out and about, or if you’re willing to shell out the cash, use a professional photographer.. But be careful of that – you don’t want guys to think you’re vain or  self-centered.

No group pics

Let’s be honest – your profile is about you, not about your group of friends.  And the last thing you want to do is to explain which one is you in the picture.  Sure, a group shot can tell a perspective suitor a bit about you and how you interact with your mates, but the guy should ultimately want to date you, not your friends.

Of course this is different if you’re a couple doing a profile together.. but that’s a whole different type of profile.  ;-)

Use a current picture

Come on guys.. How hard is it to have something that is a bit up to date?  Sure, you may like that picture of you from 10 years ago, but is that what you actually look like now?  Unless you’re somehow been able to freeze time for when you looked your hottest at 25, it really is better to show how you look now.

There’s nothing worse than chatting to some amazing, sexy guy online, and when you meet in person they look nothing like the pic anymore.  That may seem shallow, but if what initially interested him in you was your beautiful smile and you show up with some disfiguring scar that makes you look like Quasimoto, that prospective date is going to end pretty quickly.

Have a proper face pic

There’s nothing worse than clicking on a profile to see what a guy looks like, and only being able to barely make out their face.  How hard is it these days with smart phones and webcams to get a decent pic of yourself that isn’t fuzzy, blurry, or so far away you can barely tell what colour your hair is or if you have any hair at all.

Naughty or nice?

sexy hairy chestWhether you want your profile pic to be naughty or not is dependent on what you’re really online looking for.  But should a full body nudie shot be what the guys looking at your profile be the first thing you see?  Most websites or dating apps won’t allow you to post anything naughty in your profile pic, so anything more adult in nature would need to be put into a private pics section, and you’d have to unlock them for whomever you’re talking to.

Best rule of thumb could be to have your main pics fun and sexy without them being full-on porn shots.. and save those more salacious pictures for once you’ve gotten to know them a bit more than just ‘Hi’.

Show your face

We’ve all encountered numerous online profiles where there’s either no pic at all, there’s a pic of some beautiful meadow, or some headless torso.  It’s 2014.. are there really still that many people out there who are more interested in guarding their privacy or hiding inside the closet?

And let’s be honest, if you’re looking to find someone to date (as compared to finding a shag), shouldn’t a face pic be the first thing they see of you?

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Value of Friendship

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It never stops to amaze me how some people just don’t know how to be a friend, or how to properly treat their friends.  Our friends are like our families, and it’s important to cultivate these relationships to ensure they thrive and grow over the years.

This is especially important in the gay community, as there are a lot of us out there whose friends ARE their families for one reason or another.  And without that network of dear friends to support and guide us through life, a lot of us wouldn’t have gotten to where we are today, wherever that is in each of our individual lives.

For myself, I’ve never been super close to my family even before I came out of the closet.  So over the years I’ve had to rely on dear sweet friends to become my family and support network.  It wasn’t because my family and I didn’t get along, because that’s not the case.  It was more because we’ve just never been that close and I didn’t feel like I could go to them with the issues I was going through.

And that’s too bad.  I would have loved to have had a closer relationship with them (it’s surprisingly a little better these days compared to when I still lived in the same country as them hahaha), but sometimes it’s best to move past what you can’t change and make sure you have people there for you when you need them.  And vice versa obviously.

Best_FriendsAdmittedly there has been times over the years when I didn’t have many friends to lean on, as some people tend to fade away when things aren’t going well.  And that’s okay, because it shows you who your true friends are.

For me, I’d do anything for my friends.  They’re always there for me, so of course I’d always return the favour when they’re feeling down or going through a rough time.  That’s the whole point of being friends, right?

Unfortunately there are too many out there who would take advantage of someone’s generous nature or their trust, all in the name of friendship.  They are only there for their own selfishness, be it intentional or not, and can’t seem to see how their actions can affect their ‘friends’.

The thing is when you’re on the receiving end of this behaviour, you can only take it for so long before you can’t do anything else but walk away for your own sanity.  Friends need to be there to support each other, not for one to act the ‘parent’ so the other (child) can continue to do what they want, safe in the knowledge their ‘parent’ is there to clean things up for them.

why-friends-are-important1That is not a healthy relationship.

We are all adults, whether we want to be or not, so we need to grow up and take responsibility for our own lives.  That doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have fun, but instead means you have to be aware of your own actions.  And accept the consequences of them.

And if you’re not happy with your behaviour, then you need to do something to change it and soon.  Because if you don’t or if you wait too long, those loving friends may not be there any more.