The Bounceback

Hemorrhoids suck. For years I’ve had this horrible hemorrhoid. Well, it was horrible, but the majority of the time, it was manageable, so I sort of got used to it. Unfortunately it recently got worse, much worse. I decided to binge on pizza, eating disgusting amounts of it, thanks to my body craving carbs one sleep-deprived day.

The result? Tearing out my innards during a rather unpleasant bowel movement. I, however, was completely oblivious to what was to come. A couple of weeks later, and I’m okay again, having done unspeakable things to my arsehole. Not recommended!

Moral of the story? Leave the fucking pizza alone.

But that’s not what this entry’s about. As the title might suggest, I’ve somewhat bounced back. I think the aforementioned ordeal sort of told me I needed to sort my shit out. It’s not like I was doing too terribly, I was still cleaning, cooking, eating, and being productive.

The problem was that I was– am being so damn mediocre about it all. I am trying, but at the crux of it all, I’m more depressed than the keys on this keyboard.

I think I’ve gradually been getting better, though. I’m cooking more, cleaning more, eating better, and keeping very busy with programming and various Linux things. Still, it doesn’t seem to be enough. Still feels like I’m wading through an ocean of thick, chest-high mud.

Things have been difficult with the relationship. It’s not that we don’t love each other and all that jazz, it’s just that relationships are hard. Anybody who disagrees is either in the honeymoon phase or is a lucky fuckface who has everything go their way! But, here in the real world, things aren’t perfect.

I’m very in-love with my woman, though. She makes me happy. I seem to make her happy. It’s just understanding and working around our mental health situation that makes things difficult. Granted, my earlier fuckface statement may not apply to “normal” people. The distance is hard too, but I’m hoping that will be removed when Xmas comes around, as that’s the time we’ll hopefully finally meet.

We may not have yet physically met, but I feel so comfortable with her in my life, that it’s almost as though she’s already here. She’s the one for me, that’s for sure. We’re practically made for each other. It’s just getting all the other bits and pieces into place.

In other news, my dad broke his leg. He’d just recovered (mostly) from his hernia operation, was finally able to get out and do normal things, then he hits the deck because of his ankle giving out.

Bit scary how easily and quickly shit can go awry.

The Fear of Losing You

I’ve been in-love before; felt the longing; the passion; the adoration. I’ve just not felt it quite like this. I’ve never laughed, smiled, or been so happy this much with a woman. I’ve never felt so loved; so needed; wanted.

We’re such a good match. We can communicate. We both have a great sense of humor. We’re both pretty open-minded and don’t have our heads far up above the clouds so high.

I love the way she smiles. She has many different kinds, as I’m sure we all do. Bet you don’t have a smile like hers, though. Bet your smile doesn’t light me up; get me so giddy it’s embarrassing.

I can be me with her. I love to wind her up. I want her to feel good. I know she feels like shit sometimes — I do too — and because of that understanding, I feel like every smile and laugh matters.

I don’t think I’ve ever really considered myself a particularly “needy” person. I usually like my own space. I like to do my own thing. I’m an introvert, so I’m sort of used to being alone.

That said, I need her. When you have something incredible, the last thing you want is for it to slip away. Good job she’s a tad needy as well, eh?

“I just love you.” – To quote her, but of course it’s a ditto from me.

Cheesy entry, I know.

Side note: I won’t be using Twitter anymore, simply because it wasn’t really being used. 3 followers in all this time? Nah. I’ll just stick with posting here.

Yes, it’s Long Distance

Being in a long-distance relationship kinda sucks. It’s bad enough having my own depressing doubts without feeling scrutinized by other people as well.

“So you’ve never met each other, then?”

No, we haven’t. I know it isn’t traditional. Does that mean it’s not important? That it doesn’t matter? Just because we haven’t met yet, doesn’t mean we never will.

We haven’t physically met, but that doesn’t mean we’ve not seen each other, heard each other, or even had a level of physical intimacy, albeit not in person. This is 2016; we’re long past the days of dial-up Internet.

“You can’t really love somebody you’ve never met.”

You absolutely can. You can develop a strong connection with anything. If Raj from Big Bang Theory can fall in love with Siri, then I can fall in love with a wonderful woman in another country.

While it’s not all Sleepless in Seattle, it can and does sometimes work.

“You don’t even know each other.”

You try talking to someone to whom you find yourself getting closer and closer, almost daily, for a year, and tell me you don’t know them. When you go through stuff in life together, talking about all sorts, of course you learn plenty about one another.

I’m not delusional. I’ve battled this beast before. I know there are things that come up if we do finally meet and end up living together. That, however, doesn’t make what we’ve experienced inconsequential.

Since the physical side of things is mostly not possible, you’re left with a chance for a rich, vibrant line of communication that even many married couples don’t have. I’d rather that, than a relationship based entirely on sex; a relationship in which we never truly connect.

“She could be a nutcase for all you know.”

So could you.

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It’s Time to Get Help (Again)

I’ve gotten a fair bit of support over the last few years, going to OCD support groups, taking Propranolol, getting assessed for therapy, getting CBT, living in supported housing for approximately 2 years, and getting generic E-Mail support from a local organisation.

I’ve come a long way, but recent troubles have knocked me sideways, shaking some other issues well and truly loose. My anxiety has at times been horrendous with debilitating bouts of dread. Some old OCD issues are taking center stage as well.

I need help.

A while ago, my general practitioner offered me an SSRI for my anxiety. I can’t remember the name, but supposedly it would have helped. Alongside battling the anxiety, the medication should help with my OCD and recently resurfaced depression. Bonus.

I’m going to get in touch with the organisation that got me the aforementioned CBT for my OCD, and this time I’m going to opt for group therapy. I think this could be a huge step in the right direction for me, provided I can actually get to the sessions.

I’ve also just been reminded of something else: there’s a local support group for people with mental health problems. I tried going there before, to their more public meeting, but nobody showed up and I kinda lost momentum after that; it was incredibly difficult!

My dad says he’ll go with me, so perhaps that’ll happen soon. I just need to stick at it and actually go. I have a tendency of bailing when these things come around. I guess after all that supported housing stuff ended, I kinda slowed down where the support is concerned.

If things with my love life are gonna work, given how complicated and stressful it has been and will be, I seriously need the extra support. I don’t think I can cope with it otherwise, as the past has shown.

God, I hope this works.

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Being Adult with MH Issues

This is a big issue that is personal to me. It’s 3:18am, so please bear with me while I attempt to gather my jumbled thoughts into a somewhat-coherent babble.

I have mental health issues, which admittedly isn’t exactly electrifying news for those of whom follow my blog. However, a lot of people don’t seem to realise that having MH issues can and often does stunt how we grow in society.

As a result of at least my OCD, anxiety, and depression, I didn’t socialize properly until I hit my early 20s. I began to suddenly develop a rather decent social life around that time. People often get this done earlier, but not me! Prior to said social discovery, I had only two friends, both of which also had problems of their own.

We pick up a lot from people we hang around with. We learn life skills from those who learned before us. When you have problems though, this can mean you’re often left behind, still trying to figure things out everybody else seems to have mastered.

Got a bank account? That’s great. For me, that was a very scary thing that I didn’t get sorted until I was about 24.

Why?

Because I didn’t have an income as a result of lack of knowledge because things just seemed different for me—I’m “different”.

But really, why no income?

Well, since getting a job just wasn’t practical, getting an income for me, meant getting benefits. I needed to actually understand my limitations, come to terms with said limitations, go to doctors, get judged pretty harshly, sign a bazillion forms, and then wait for ages to see if it all paid off.

It did.

For a long time though, it was something for which I was simply ill-prepared. I lacked the knowledge that it were even possible for me to get such an income. This is just an example of how my mental health issues have made my journey to independence a considerable struggle.

Take relationships. being with someone teaches you a lot. You learn about yourself, what you like, and what you don’t like. You get the opportunity to learn about your body. You start thinking all love-struck about the vast, wonderful future.

I didn’t have my first proper relationship until possibly 23 years of age, so before then I hadn’t even kissed a girl on anything other than the cheek. Don’t even get me started on the sexual stuff!

All the things we go through when we’re younger help shape us into the bitter, know-it-all adults we all eventually become. With these experiences, both good and bad, come a sort of maturity as we learn about ourselves and others.

Unfortunately, if you’re slow to pick these things up, those around you can get frustrated, particularly if they don’t have any real understanding of mental health issues. I’m sure it creates more issues when they think the solution is to push until they get the desired result. While a push here and there can do wonders, it’s not always so viable.

Let’s say you want to go to the shops, but you’re anxious, so you’re not yet ready. Would a good approach be for me to badger you, telling you that you’ll never go to the shops if you just sit around moaning about it? Just go. Stop being such a baby. We all get anxious. Grow up. You need to be more adult. Gosh!

The knowledgeable amongst you will realise that’s an ignorant and unfair approach. Genius though I’m not, I’d still personally try to approach that in a supportive manner, by encouraging them and targeting the anxiety, not the person.

I just wish people understood that this is a real thing. Try to appreciate that those with mental health problems can struggle to do things that you norms would consider simple.

It’s not our fault.

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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A Letter to My OCD

Dear OCD,

Many apologies for the long overdue letter, for I have been rather busy striving to pick up the pieces of my life that you sought to repeatedly smash. I hope I haven’t caused any inconvenience.

I’ve taken up cooking as somewhat of a new hobby. I’m very grateful for the skills I’m learning, since I’ve had plenty of free time as a result of the depression caused by your insufferable harassment—you always know best.

I fell in love again, unfortunately. What a woman she is. You were right to incessantly berate me, however. I successfully fought to fray what we had, though. I do sometimes forget that being happy is wrong, but fear not, your teachings once more saw me unravel it all. Thank you, my dear friend.

I wanted to go out to the shops today, but you rightly steered me onto the path of solidarity. I mistakenly thought I perhaps looked reasonable, but you had me obsess over the size of my pair of jeans—I’m very grateful for your wisdom.

These have been trying times. I owe all my trials and tribulations to you, comrade. You’ve shown me that I cannot trust people; everyone really is out to get me. I am unworthy and entirely useless. I will endeavor to convince myself there is absolutely no hope, with your sound guidance of course.

I hope you are not too swamped planning the many hurdles with which I’ve yet to struggle. I do so marvel at how you manage it all, and with such fervour—you really are very talented.

All my best.

Sincerely,
JoeBlogs

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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Honesty is NOT the Best Policy

I used to think being honest was the way to go.

Don’t even bother. Lie, just lie until you’re blue in the face. Nobody wants to hear the truth. We have so many triggers; so many ways by which things get to us. It’s not worth it.

I don’t care if it’s your friends, family, lover, pet, or mug of hot chocolate; you tell that chocolate goodness what it wants to hear and nothing else. I assure you, the risk of hurting someone you love isn’t worth being straight with them.

Do you have OCD and as a result find yourself oversharing? I do.

For years I’ve been hearing and reading how people want others to always be honest with them. Women often go around putting down guys who lie or withdraw the facts, but when we do as they ask? Game over.

That thing you feel you should tell them because they want honesty?

Keep it to yourself.

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Where Do Men Stand?

At risk of losing a number of my lovely female readers…

I feel too much is expected of us. I’m sick of hearing how all these ladies always get the short end of the stick. It certainly used to be the case, but in this day and age, it often swings the other way.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that I’ll be pushing the generalisations quite hard. I’m sorry if this annoys those who go against the grain like myself. I know not all men and women are like how I’ve described.

There are women who are apparently paid less, denied jobs, and given special treatment because of their gender; this irks me all the same, and I’m sorry for those who’ve been treated like that.

However, two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because some women aren’t treated fairly, doesn’t mean other men should in return be treated unfairly. I didn’t reduce your wages. I didn’t deny you that working position because you’re a woman. I wasn’t your abusive ex-husband. We’re not all like that, just as not all women are man-haters.

A man is obliged to pay for the date, or society says he’s cheap; a dick. A man must pay through his teeth for a ring, offering it to the woman in hopes that she’ll say yes to a life of fear of divorce love and security, after which yet another, far more expensive ring is required.

I know an amazing woman who genuinely gets annoyed by the whole diamond thing. “Blood diamonds!” She’ll say. If she were to marry, she’d want a gem, something that isn’t absurdly expensive; something that costs more in actual meaning than cash. Her ideal scenario? A gem she and her husband-to-be  found and mined themselves, together.

Her ideal wedding? Somewhere nice in the countryside, perhaps a forest, and near a stream; nothing OTT, but something natural, joined with only those closest to them.

What a woman.

So, you’re both on your date, both trying to see whether you two are compatible. Why is the guy expected to foot the entire bill? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting she pays for him—that would be weird—but by that same damn merit, it would be equally weird for him to pay for hers.

I consider it highly rude to expect someone to pay your way, least of all because of your gender. Rude and disrespectful. It also indicates that you expect the guy to make all the effort, while you just sit there and take, take, take.

The moment someone goes around expecting you to pay for them because society says so, I believe you should leave them the fuck alone because they don’t care about you nearly as much as they do your wallet or purse.

A happy wife is a happy life!

It seems to me that if the woman doesn’t get what she wants, it’s often game over, or at least a really rough ride, and not the fun kind that ends with cleanup and an awkward silence. Why does the woman automagically dictate when things are sufficient? Men have a voice too.

Man: “Darling, can we get a dog?”
Woman: “I don’t want a dog, so let’s compromise…”
Man: “We’re not getting a dog are we?”

I’m not saying women should do whatever the man wants, or that what she wants isn’t important, I’m saying that what both parties want is important. If we just did business like this, we’d be a right mess.

I get that you probably can’t always compromise. I understand things aren’t always so black and white, unless you’re a zebra of course. It’s just that, in my admittedly cynical way, most of what I see is inequality between the genders.

In my jumbled way, I feel frustrated, because I feel like my voice doesn’t matter. I blame the men who did exactly the same thing, and far worse, to women all those years ago—so what is this, revenge?

It’s outrageous that so many women out there preach feminism, while simultaneously beating men down. Equality? My arse. Women like that only seem to care about things being equal, when it suits them.

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Staying Friends

I’ve noticed some people claiming a perfectly-decent friendship with their ex, sometimes even great; I have to wonder what their secret is, or whether they’re just full of crap.

Long after things were said and done with the woman from my first serious relationship, it occurred to me that we didn’t actually belong in each other’s lives anymore. The very same woman who is now married with a young child.

I just felt as though my being in her life was wrong; it was also screwing with my head, bringing up old memories and feelings I didn’t care to have.

Now I’m once again neck-deep into a situation in which I’m friends with an ex; a woman I care about a lot. How do I look past the closeness we once had?

Everything’s different now.

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I Love You

Damn, it’s impressive just how much power 3 little words can have. Heck, just 3 silly balls! Recently, the power of these special words got my ticker pumping, as my girlfriend told me how she really feels about me.

I’ll just be over here, scratching my head, trying to figure out why she hasn’t ran screaming for help. I’m obsessive, depressive, cynical, pessimistic, and probably hella moody, yet there she is, telling this tool right here that she loves me.

“Love is patient.” – she told me these words after I had a freak-out moment. She’s fantastic. I’m lucky. Do you know how I know she’s several cards short of a deck? Because apparently she loves me, and I can’t help but to think it takes a very special sort of woman to love a special sort of man like me, but regardless, she’s that way inclined.

Maybe I’m imagining it all. Maybe I just haven’t woken up yet. Maybe I’m in the Matrix. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Whatever the reason, I don’t think I’ll be complaining just yet.

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