Believe

Today is already quite important.

Loneliness is a big deal for me right now, which may seem incredible under current circumstances. After all, Lockdown is making people variously crave or be genuinely afraid of human contact. For me, however, the mental processes are different, and two incidents over the last 24 hours have finally allowed me to quantify why, right now, it really does feel like all I’m doing is yelling into a void.

It takes me a PHENOMENALLY long time to properly make friends with people. Sure, I can slip into conversations all day and night, hide in plain sight and never, ever feel as if those moments are anything other than totally natural. I’ve also become excellent at reading and taking stuff from other people in without ever needing to interact with them. That comes from decades as text as, in many cases my only contact with other people.

The problem, ultimately, is finding other people like me.

I attended a Time to Change Virtual Networking event yesterday, which was incredibly life affirming and made me realise, yet again, that I’m not alone when it comes to struggling with mental health issues. However, I’m not going to lie, there were moments where I felt unbelievably anxious and very alone indeed and, it’s apparent from distance, that’s because there is no individual interaction in a group of 80 people.

When I ended up in a Breakout room, or in a smaller group for feedback, the whole thing changed. When I’m talking to my local Hub or on a one-to-one with a fellow champion, none of the anxiety or disconnection exists. It is the need to talk to someone but, crucially, for them to share some kind of common bond. It isn’t just the conversation that matters. It is the possibility that someone might care enough to become a friend.

The significance of that realization is still resonating within me.

I have words that explain why I feel this way, that are accompanied by concepts that were introduced during counselling last year. I know full well why the emotions within me exist, and how in the past they pushed me to do things that were harmful and ended up hurting the people I cared about. So many of my issues drift back to never having the information required to be whole growing up. A lot of that was wrapped around my sexuality.

Understanding that I was attracted to both boys and girls several decades after those feelings first became apparent was part of my process of redemption. It has allowed everything to find its correct and proper level. It won’t deal with the consequences however, or make certain anxieties and phobias vanish. That is my job to address and deal with, and it is happening.

It may be self-indulgent, but honestly it should not be a surprise.

Knowing how my physical state affects mental well-being has been a revelation in recent months. Sleep plays a massive factor in understanding. However, more than anything else right now I crave empathic, intellectual connections. It’s why Patreon is so important as a creative tool, to allow me to explore the parts of my brain that so need to become as strong as my legs or arms.

It is why, on Bi Visibility Day, it matters to remind people that I am. It’s why those who malign social media need constant prompting that it isn’t the delivery system that needs work, but how people choose to use it. All of these things make life worth living. They give me purpose, paths and goals to achieve, and without them the Void is very big and it can become increasingly depressing shouting into it.

The problems are mine to fix. I cannot, however, do it alone.

Pick Up the Pieces

Attention spans are absolutely not what they used to be. Thought processes seems to have lost some of their edge. Investigative journalism leaves a lot to be desired. All of these statements are undoubtedly true in certain lights, but won’t hold up to scrutiny in others. It’s the classic tale of Perspective.ย What one person thinks is an apple, is absolutely an orange to someone else, when facts know full well that’s a banana.

This has been part of the Human Condition for as long as people have argued that their way is clearly best, because they’re right and you’re wrong. However, as has become more and more inescapable with the march of human evolution, there are some questions with only one answer. That’s where science comes in, and history, and those people who record facts without the taint of personal bias.

When I grow up, I wanna be one of those people.

shadow_government

There’s a very good reason why the sky is blue, and trying to argue anything else is really a bit dumb. Similarly, when people are surprised that I offer them virtual food as means by which to feel better, increasingly not on their birthdays, they haven’t picked out the fact this is part of my irrefutable personal makeup. The issues with comfort eating will never go away, it appears, because it is very much rooted into my issues with trauma.

However, having been able to identify this objectively, life becomes easier. It’s a roundabout way of linking the irrefutable: I am exactly the way I am for an increasing number of very good reasons. Unless those are communicated to the wider world, people will not grasp why decisions are being made. Therefore, it is up to me to communicate this, in the vain hope people might actually start listening.

I can but hope, after all.

April 8th

Therefore, apologies in advance for those of you who might have heard some of the stuff that now starts appearing via social media and though my blog channels. It appears much of what I am could indeed bear repeating, now more individuals are paying attention. I’ve never been a big fan of repeats, because the assumption is that you picked up the point the last 15 times you were told.

Maybe humanity hasn’t yet evolved as far as I’d hoped…

Believe

Last night, something happened mentally that I am still processing, but which shed light on a whole bunch of stuff I’ve previously left well alone. The past does indeed remain where it lives, but occasionally what happened back then will give significant pause for thought. In this case, it was the action of trying to make a point and not listening to the response that caused a massive cleft in self-confidence. It doesn’t help that I didn’t sleep well last night, the exercise regime finally caught up with me and that it is time to make some sensible choices about what is doable.

I’m going to do as much as I’m able on the bike tonight and skip the Gym. The weights session I would have done today will happen tomorrow. This afternoon I need to sit, relax and process what has been unearthed, and in the manner of a World War Two unexploded bomb in the Estuary, safely defuse explosives at distance. Once that’s done I can tow my psyche down to Shoebury Garrison and they can blow me up there. This way nobody else gets hurt, and all the messy shrapnel lands in deep water.

I still plan to relaunch myself on Monday. On reflection, detonating a part of my old life and then scrapping it somewhere on the Essex coastline seems a wholly appropriate means of moving forward.

Let’s hope I don’t end up as a hazard to shipping in the process.