About Chic Gibson

I was forumster, I tweet, I tried blogging in 2011.

Me and the Alp.

Was just reading about Geraint Thomas winning on Alpe D’Heuz today in the Tour De France.

In 1997, I took a fortnight’s leave from my work. I was 24 and sorted myself a flight to Paris and with a euro domino ticket literally headed south on the TGV to Lyon and then Grenoble.

I figured with European timetable books and maps that I could see the Stages at St Etienne and the Alp.

I call it, ‘the Alp’ as that’s what it’s known as in Cyclesport.

Most races go up from Le-Bourg-d’Oisans at the door of the hill. It’s literally a vertical kilometre from the valley floor with 21 hairpin bends to allow the road to climb up the Alp.

It’s known as the ‘Dutch Mountain’ as cycling fans from the Netherlands go crazy for it and as luck had it, I got a lift to the foot of the hill from some Dutch guys that I stayed with in the youth hostel with.

I think there was six of us in that small car. Not quite sure how we all got in as there was a fair bit of beer in the boot too.

I wanted to experience the hill by walking up the road.

It took me well over three hours and at the narrow roadside were cars and camper vans and at each U bend of the road leading upward were groups of fans with Flags, Banners and the names of their favourites painted or chalked on the road. French, Belgians, Italians, but mainly the orange of Holland.

I was offered a can of beer at every turn. After 4 or 5 hairpins. I wondered what I had let myself in for. It was steep on foot. A Well built but narrow mountain road with retaining walls at the sides.

Eventually, sweating and tired. I made it to the top. Thanks to generosity of strangers, my day pack had a mix of bottled and canned lagers. Without intending it, I had a ‘cargo’ like many of the hardcore fans.

I rested and watched the race on the big screen at the top of the hill. France Television had a unit there and there was the usual final kilometre decoration of barriers and banners on the way to the stage finish.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I saw a remarkable win by ‘ Il Pirata’ – Marco Pantani, an Italian climber that had a reputation for bravely attacking in the mountains.

He rode alone the last ten kilometres after ditching the race leader on route. A special bit of cycling.

Sadly Pantani died in 2004 aged 34. He was a small guy with a shaved head and a patterned neckerchief around his head. He went and attacked himself and was a phenomenon in the late nineties as stage winner and also a race winner in the major tours.

Whoever wins on the hill, it’s the Alp. It’s a incredible sight as a place in itself .

What should be a ski station in high summer becomes a busy place with thousands of cycling fans there to witness one of the greatest tests in the Tour. It’s the tarmac, the walls, the hairpin corners and that gradient.

I’ll go there again one day. I hope.

As a postscript, I had a disposable camera type thing with me that day. I did take a few snaps that day, but have no idea whatever happened to the pictures. I recall the blueness of the sky and freshness of the air the most.

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What to say?

Sometimes I lose the desire to write or blog or whatever I do here.

It goes. I have things in my head and sometimes they don’t come out.

I might be thinking autism or politics or football or transport, but it doesn’t happen.

I try and stop myself having grand and unfeasible ideas. Ground myself.

I’m doing day to day and getting by. Seeing the kids, keeping up. Mood comes and goes. I watch TV, I try and listen to music.

I can’t push myself over getting ‘help’ or treatment, it’s not really going to happen unless I have a breakdown. I’m trying my best not to. See paragraph above this one and repeat.

So. What to say?

Do I want to break the cycle and think that all I’m doing is existing?

Do I want to think there’s more to life?

I’ve wondered about dating and also wondered about not.

The idea of accepting that’s it and I’m done is something that’s been kicking around my head.

I know I’m not brilliant and know I’m not maybe where I want to be, so understanding that what I may want to do and what I may be able to cope with.

I dunno. It’s effort and trying and believing myself well enough to project outwards and thinking and thinking.

A step forward is at least is knowing or thinking that it’s something to think about, but a step at a time. As ever.

But? What do I have to do?

Nothing is maybe the answer. Maybe I do nothing. Maybe I just think about it all a bit more. Leave it be.

Hope, Cross fingers, continue muddling along.

Onward. Ever onward.

Monday Again.

Today’s not a good day. I’m down and feel tired. I did sleep but don’t feel fresh at all.

I’ve tried to figure the concept of ‘spoons’ of energy and I want to say nil, but I’ve a day of work to get through and get through that I will.

Mentally, I’m broken, or think I am.

There’s purpose in work and a desire to see the kids.

Outside that, food and surviving into the next day.

Autism related? A slump in mental health and a slide in mood is more likely to be the thing.

I keep going with TV and reading and twitter. I’ve no desire to go back out once I’m in of an evening. No feeling that I need do something.

I have early nights where I struggle to settle and late ones where it’s as bad.

I feel fat, I’m not happy with my appearance. Trying to eat smarter/healthier but I can’t always. Trying to lay off coffee, but times again that it’s needed to function.

Finding ‘people’ hard at the moment, trying not to say things in my head and consider what I say and do. But I think I always let myself down somehow. That’s the autistic side too.

My attempts to get help failed, as I’ve written about before.

I need another round of medications and will sort that out.

I’ve had my washing machine break and I’ve had a few issues around that both financially and otherwise.

I needed time yesterday to do tidying as that was my ‘plan’ – I got home at twenty to nine, ate, slopped onto sofa and watched two programmes before bed.

Circumstances. Nothing of my making or doing. But so much for having a ‘nice’ Father’s Day.

So I’m low today and not feeling it, not knowing what to do.

I could use something. A break, something positive for once. I can take solace in the cards and love from the kids. I can find other distraction.

Written on hoof and can edit later.

A shadow of the man you should be. (Autism)

I played some Big County on my phone and headphones the other day. It got around to ‘Just a Shadow’ and the lyric bit me.

It’s just a shadow of the man you should be.

Ouch.

That hurt.

I can duck and dive day in and day out, but I’m not really the man i was or the man I should be.

The lyric crystallised my thoughts.

I’ve deluded myself that things are better than what they are and I’ve hid from the really uncomfortable truths.

I’m over three years separated and over four from my autistic diagnosis. I’ve lost everyone and I’m pretty much alone.

My attempts to get help have failed and trying for PIP took so much out of me. My attempts to get other help last year proved fruitless and I’m just alone, scared and trying not to fail.

I’m in no fit state for anyone else and although I might think that I need company, I can’t see anything ever happening.

I don’t want to do things myself, where before I could. There’s no one to fall back upon and I’m not looking for pity, sympathy or anything else.

I need to figure out a great deal in order that I can be independent again and feel a bit more satisfied about life.

I see things that are on at the cinema and I dread the thought about going myself. I don’t think I can go out drinking myself either.

It’s a lot of negative things to attempt to process and make sense about.

Confidence and ability take a great deal of work to regain and I feel the loss of those. Functioning and managing day to day is one thing, these are another thing altogether.

For now, I have more humbleness and more accepting to do.

I think I must accept there’s little chance of any new relationship whether emotional or physical. I’m not going to be capable enough to do that.

I must accept that I need to make progress on my loneliness and work at things to make it easier and to try and pick up some threads.

I think I’ve had my chance on many things and that I can try to build a little bit more on my own and take some small steps forward.

I can’t fix all the things I’d like to and I don’t have the skills socially to repair some things in my life.

For now, I can work on things like my weight, anxiety and emotional and mental health. Those are my priorities to ensure that I continue to function and do what I need to do.

Anything else is too far to jump. There’s accepting how I look and how old I am and knowing there are limits to my abilities to deal with people or to even figure out everything else.

It’s a step back to a step forward.

Or it’s looking properly at issues and taking stock of where I was and where I am. Being honest and taking an issue at a time.

I will not wake tomorrow and change. I will not shake it off or find things to be easier one day.

Much to process and figure. Not easy either.

A year after PIP refusal.

Getting past April as autism awareness month is always good, but my mind has turned to it being a year since I was refused PIP.

I did the applications, asked for the Statutory Reconsideration and took it as far as the appeal panel.

I’m aware of Scotland’s new social security system coming in and I just couldn’t bring myself to re-apply. Even if all they say is true.

I tried and had a Doctor and Nurse lie to ensure I didn’t get anything. It stripped me of dignity and confidence and I couldn’t go through it all again.

My attempts to get help petered out after the Health and Social Care partnership referred me back to GP.

It’s a new GP after my old one excluded me and at an appointment I was told they prefer to phone than do appointments, so I’ve given up on that, barring getting my regular prescription.

I’m no better than I was. Not much I can do other than hope I don’t have a meltdown.

I think I’m self medicating between nicotine tablets and CBD oil. I’m not drinking alcohol at least.

I’m not sure on there being enjoyable days, maybe when with the kids, certainly not when alone or in the day to day of the work week.

For work, I’ve had to remove all my accommodations.

An email reminder on clear desk policy has sent me backwards on use of cutting pads to stop reflections and after a meltdown, I was told my earphones are antisocial to my colleagues, so I’ve stopped using them.

(Pointless saying I was triggered by the email system not working and a demand made for me to access email by someone not having issues with the email.)

Same guy that made comment on the headphones, later sent an email saying my employer is ‘disability confident’ – er..

I’m hating the trains and travel to and from work, as it usually means standing.

I had a dialogue with Scotrail’s inclusion team and it seems I can use the priority seats, but it’s not an issue as they’re usually occupied.

Everything’s pretty much still a mess and difficult.

Financially, I’m trying but it’s difficult every month.

I haven’t yet had that holiday I was deluding myself about.

I’m still alone and haven’t seen anyone new. I don’t think I can in the state that I’m in and I really am still hurt from past events. I don’t think I’m a prospect anyone would want.

It’s a boring and lonely existence watching TV and reading twitter but it’s about all I have.

So.. onward, ever onward.

The St Mirren Championship Arithmetic possibility post.

Jim Goodwin with the League Cup in 2013.

St Mirren’s next piece of silverware, the Scottish Championship trophy is around the corner. Seven points or three more wins ought to do it.

St Mirren and Livingston have 6 fixtures left. The calculation is that Livingston could get 18 points maximum and reach 73 points.

Saints have 67 points as of 31 March.

74 points wins it although reaching 73 and having superior goal difference might well be enough.

Any changes over the next three games will affect the target as a Saints loss or draw takes the matter on a few fixtures, any defeats or draws for Livingston speeds it up.

Morton are out the equation as currently 47 points and 15 more possible makes a maximum theoretical finish of 62 points. Saints have 67 already.

Dundee Utd have 46 points and seven games to play making a possible 21 points making a maximum theoretical finish of 67 points.

Dunfermline moved 4th on 31 March they can reach 61 points maximum in theory. 5 games to play and a current 46 points.

Tuesday April 3rd

Dunfermline vs Livingston

St Mirren sit out the fixture. But will be a must know result.

This could take Livi onto 58 points but will be their 31st game played. 5 games left, 15 points possible.

Saturday April 7th

Brechin vs St Mirren

Livingston vs Morton

70 and 61 points if both teams keep winning.

Tuesday April 10th

Dundee United vs St Mirren.

This could be the one where saints hit 73 points if they also win their previous two matches.

Livingston don’t have a game that night.

Saturday April 14th

St Mirren vs Livingston.

A coup de grâce. An opportunity to nail it down if it wasn’t already done and dusted. Saints might draw or lose in a previous fixture. A win for St Mirren reduces the highest possible finish for Livingston too.

Tuesday April 17th

St Mirren vs Falkirk

Again a possible fallback game for Saints.

Hopefully that helps the Mirren massive, because it will be fluid if Livingston lose or draw.

updated to 31 March, twists and turns.

There is no help.

17th March 2018.

My attempts to get any sort of help or support have failed. The letter pictured says..

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Date 9th March

Dictated 23rd February

Dear Mr Gibson

Thank you for attending your assessment appointment at the Charleston Centre on 8th February 2018.

Following discussion with the multidisciplinary team we will be discharging you back to the care of your GP as there appears to be no role for CHMT at this point.

I have written to your GP informing them of this decision.

Yours

X

Community Psychiatric Nurse

Community Mental Health Team.

So, if I want help I’ll probably have to go and commit a crime. Seems to be the only way.

Alcoholics, drug users and all other forms of low life scum and vermin are treated to a higher standard than someone with a lifelong condition.

I’m beyond disgusted at this and I’m going to end up lower and more isolated as a result.

The Scottish NHS isn’t worth a fuck as far as I’m concerned. They’d rather see me dead.