The exams are coming…Dad isn’t going!

Before I hit you with the bulk of my blog post, which today is going to be pretty balanced, I would like to wish my friend and fellow Theatrical Tech, Matt all the best with his road trip. 5,000 miles in 26 days on his vespa. Check his blog out here ( – very inspirational chap). Good luck mate, I shall take good care of the Merlin for you!

Now I would also like to take the opportunity to say a humongous Good Luck to all of my friends who are going to be taking GCSE, AS or A2 exams over the next few weeks! I am sure that you will all do well!

I don’t want you guys to think that I am asking for sympathy about my exams and in fact just to clear it up, I am not blogging to get sympathy (as I overheard in a conversation about me a couple of weeks ago!) I am blogging because it helps me get things out of my head and allows me to be the person who I want to be. I do it because it is one of the only ways in which I can express myself – its not something I am very good at. So just for future reference if anyone would like to judge me, have the bollocks to come and face me about it, don’t slag me off behind my back!

Anyway… I always knew that exams and grief weren’t going to be an easy set of feelings to deal with, and I thought I had psyched myself up for it, but then I had Dad’s birthday to comprehend with and this just screamed out – “Ben you fool, you need a reality check!” I realised actually how much impact Dad’s birthday was going to have. But yet again I had put this to the side and tried to ignore it. Ben 0, Grief 1.
It felt as if grief was singing this to me

Since January, I have been seeing my amazing counsellor, Ruth. She has been able to help me open doors in my head that I didn’t ever think that I would be able to open. This is the way my brain feels sometimes



Sometimes it feels as if unlocking the padlocks is going to be an impossible challenge, but somehow Ruth is able to allow me to unlock these padlocks, one by one, even if it is only one tiny turn of a key at a time. This ‘unlocking’ has enabled me to open up and deal with some of the feelings that are associated with grief. But ultimately, I am still crap at expressing myself – because of this it means that unfortunately my mind is always distracted elsewhere, this coupled with my lack of sleep, and stress (that I am sure every one of my friends knows about) is just driving me into a pit. My first exam is on Tuesday and I feel that I may crash before then, not because I am under revised, in fact its nothing really to do with the exams, it just the lack of me dealing with thinks and the lack of me being able to express myself is slowing driving me nuts and this is the first time I have admitted this, so I guess its one step in the right direction.

Before anyone says anything I AM NOT DOING TOO MUCH OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL…IT IS THE OUT-OF-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES THAT KEEP ME SANE AND PLUS I ENJOY REVISING IN A TENT ON THE QUANTOCKS OR IN THE MERLIN THEATRE, I am away from home and away from memories of my dad, it is a bit of respite and I concentrate better. That’s that rant over, but I need to keep going over the next few weeks, so a small plea to my friends, if you see me heading for a ditch, just tell me a funny joke/make me laugh and honestly you will do the world of good! To the teachers – don’t nag me, I will be a grumpy shit and you’ll regret it. Lets just get the 4 weeks of hell over with.

I have decided upon a date to scatter my dads ashes, and it is before I go away so I can treat my return to England as a fresh start and can then hopefully start to move on. I would like to thank both sides of my dads family for the support. I say ‘both’ because there is a disagreement between two sides, I am stuck in the middle, I have no issues with any of them. I intend to get on and talk to both sides. If people don’t like this, well they can piss right off. It is my life I will life it how I want to.

Things are getting there and the Admin side of dads death is almost sorted. So hopefully over the coming weeks and months, I can start to unlock more and more padlocks. I will be posting more regularly for my sake and also to express myself for the people who need to know.

All the best to everyone in their exams. Keep living life to its full, because you don’t ever know if it will be cut short!

Much love to my Mum, Emily, my friends and of course it goes without saying my Dad!




  1. Lottie Baker · May 11, 2015

    Ben. I wish you all the luck for your exams in the next weeks. I become so emotional when I read your blog. You know you can always talk to me about anything. Your such a great person. And I’m always here if you want a rant. Well done hun your be okay. Happy birthday to your dad and good luck xx


    • benjaminmanning · May 11, 2015

      Thank you very much Lottie! It means a lot! xxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s